Was Employee Laid Off for Voting for Obama?
Updated 4:05 p.m. ET
Last Friday, someone going by the name "dermdoc" posted a thread on a message board for Texas A&M students and alumni with this topic: "Laid off my first Obama voting employee today."
"Our reimbursement rates are spiraling downward, taxes are projected to go up with Obamacare, so I did it," the person wrote. He later added: "I made this decision because I can."
"It is kind of interesting watching their face as you explain to them the economic consequences of the policies of the guy they voted for," wrote dermdoc.
Hotsheet reached out to the person who we believe to have been responsible for the posting, but our requests for comment went unanswered. Late Wednesday afternoon, after Hotsheet's inquiry, the thread appeared to be removed from the TexAgs.com Web site. (The original link was here.) We took screen shots before the removal; you can view the full first page of comments here.
The posting prompted 20 pages of comments, some celebrating dermdoc's initial post and others questioning whether it was appropriate for him to have laid off an employee seemingly on the basis of his or her politics.
Dermdoc interacted repeatedly with commenters, and it is possible that his claim about laying off an Obama voter was grounded at least to some extent in bravado. He goes on to lament that his practice will suffer economically under the Obama health care plan.
"Elections have consequences," wrote dermdoc. "If you vote for someone who raises my taxes and lowers my income, you pay the cost."
"My office manager and med business guru have calculated that this is just the beginning. Tax rates are going to go through the roof with additional Obamacare taxes AND the expiration of the Bush tax cuts," he added. "And most analysts think reimbursement rates for docs will go down about 20-25% the next 2 years, and that is BEFORE Obamacare really kicks in."
dermdoc wrote that he feels "kind of feel like the Hollywood lib directors who wouldn't give parts to conservative actors."
"The most interesting thing was seeing the reactions of other employees who came to the startling realization that their support of a guy who hurts my business could cost them their job," he wrote.
"And what a lot of you guys and gals don't seem to understand is that as long as I make the money, pay the bills, pay the taxes, pay the salaries, assume all the legal liability, etc., that I can do just about what I want to(as can every other business owner in the US)," he added. "And that is what really, really pisses of Obama and his minions. Unintended consequences are a beeyatch."
dermdoc eventually took a more conciliatory tone after another poster said he knew him and that he was a good person.
"Okay, I am outed," he wrote. "I hate having to lay off anybody, but I had to for obvious reasons. Fortunately as stated earlier, I think the employee will get another job. Business owners and the 'rich' are not going to pay for Obamacare, the middle class is. We will cut costs via layoffs and raise prices or find someway to pass on the costs ot YOU."
"That is the way business works," he added. "...If that makes me an ahole, so be it."
CBS News Producer Will Goodman contributed reporting.Doctor to Obama Supporters: Find a New M.D.
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