Insurers are afraid of new administration – fired insurance CEO

One of the insurance industry’s most outspoken execs was suddenly fired Tuesday. Was his blunt disdain for the Trump administration a factor?

Insurers are afraid of new administration – fired insurance CEO

Life & Health

By Ryan Smith

On Tuesday, the CEO of Molina Healthcare – and one of the industry’s most vocal supporters of Obamacare – was suddenly fired from the company his father founded almost 40 years ago. Was his blunt criticism of Republican efforts to repeal the Affordable Care Act a factor?

The timing of the termination – and the simultaneous ousting of Molina’s brother, CFO John Molina – did seem odd. Molina Healthcare beat Wall Street projections when it reported its Q1 results Tuesday, and it’s made significant improvements to its Obamacare business, according to a Politico report. So did Molina’s penchant for bluntness seal his fate?

In an interview with Politico, Mario Molina didn’t rule it out. He also suggested that insurers were afraid of criticizing the Trump administration.

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“I’ve been a very vocal critic of what’s going on in Washington,” Molina told Politico. “I know the other health plan executives have been afraid to speak out. Maybe they’re smarter than I am, but I’m not going to back off.”

Molina has slammed the effort to repeal Obamacare, saying it would hurt poor people and senior citizens, Politico reported. He also blasted insurers who supported repeal.

“They don’t like the health insurance tax, and they would like to return to a time when they could exclude people with pre-existing conditions,” he said. “For them it would be a good thing to go back to the old way of doing things.”

Other insurers, Molina said, were keeping any criticisms to themselves out of fear.

“People are afraid of the administration,” he told Politico. “Why take an aggressive stance if you have nothing to gain, or if you think you have something to lose?”

But Molina’s ousting as CEO (he remains a board member and the company’s single largest shareholder) hasn’t made him any less aggressive. He blasted the Trump administration for threatening to end Obamacare subsidies that insurers depend on to control costs for poor customers.

“The Trump administration is destabilizing (the marketplaces),” Molina told Politico. “Health plans need to plan ahead. He can pull the rug out from the health plans at any minute.”

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