Questions for ConSova CEO Michael Smith


How does one decide to embark upon a career like yours, in which you run a company whose goal is to remove people from health insurance rolls? When you tell people what you do at parties, do they turn their backs on you, or do they pretend not to be horrified?

According to Inc. Magazine, you proposed this line of business to your prior employer, and they didn’t want to do it, so you struck out on your own. Did your prior employer think it would be an unprofitable line of business, or did they think it was repugnant?

You are surely aware that your business makes money because the American health system is so damaged – because American health insurance is expensive, hard to get, and often available only through large employers. To use a medical analogy, your business is the wound myiasis of health insurance. Do you know what that is? Are you bothered that the maggot infestation of festering wounds is a startlingly apt metaphor for your career?

Your business requires people to prove that they are eligible spouses and dependents to retain their insurance. One way you look for ineligible health plan members is checking for couples where the spouses have different last names. Do you know any feminists? Do they think you’re justified in demanding extra documentation from married couples when a woman hasn’t changed her name? What is a reasonable cost in time and money to charge someone for the documentation they need to prove their relationship?

Do people often quote the play “A Man For All Seasons” to you? You know the line: “It profits a man nothing to give his soul for the whole world … but for Wales?” Just guessing from your LinkedIn profile, it doesn’t look like this is making you rich. Or maybe you just didn’t feel like wearing a well-fitted suit or hiring a competent photographer for your corporate headshot. Fair enough. I don’t usually wear suits or hire photographers either.

Do you think that your organization is a net positive for America or the world? Where on the scale do you think you fall on the continuum between working pro bono publico and working entirely contra bonos mores?

Finally, how do you sleep at night? I hope it’s on a huge pile of money, because if you’re not getting filthy rich doing this, I don’t see the point.

Aaron Weber

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