Now that I’m back from vacation, I should stop procrastinating and do a quick year in review.
My biggest miss
The first week after the 2016 election, I was convinced that the entirety of the ACA minus the Medicare Advantage cuts was dead. Medicaid expansion gone. Pre-existing conditions gone. Essential Health Benefits gone. Subsidies gone.
I was wrong. The individual mandate is gone and Cost Sharing Reduction (CSR)subsidies are a mangled mess of ineffective sabotage.
My most important post
I argued that the threat to terminate payments for CSR subsidies was limited in scope and duration.
The CSR threat loses its ability to blow up the market by sometime in the fall.
This post led me to believe that CSR payments required Republican concessions and not the conventional wisdom of Democratic concessions. From there, it led me to believe and argue that there will never by an appropriation for CSR again.
Every time every one of you picked up the phone and called. Every time that we stood for our values. Every time that we looked at our world and tried to figure out how to make it better and not worse.
2017 was a huge transition year for me.
I started it as Richard Mayhew and I end it as Dave Anderson. My wife was 150% supportive of us taking a massive leap into the unknown as we moved to North Carolina and Duke instead of staying in the comfortable and familiar of Pittsburgh. I can not tell her often enough how much I love her, I can only show her that but I am incredibly lucky to share my life with her. She encourages me to be my best me, and I try to do that for her as well.
I will miss Richard, he was a fascinating character that had lived with me for the first three years I was here at Balloon Juice. I always envisioned him as Leslie Knope’s second ex-boyfriend from college where they split because he was slightly too cynical and brash for her but they remain Facebook friends who can give Leslie a smile when they run into each other. Speaking as Richard gave me a tremendous amount of space to be wrong or at least incomplete and thus continue to learn and explore.
However he limited what I could do. Richard Mayhew could not write in the Des Moines Register last week that Iowa should Silver Gap their individual market for 2019. Richard Mayhew would not argue in the Times that the non-funding of CSR would lead to a quasi-stable equilibrium where almost everyone could proclaim victory. Richard Mayhew could not sit and participate in the twice a month Friday research seminars that the Margolis Center puts on and have his mind twisted and stretched. Richard Mayhew could not grab a couple of beers with his fellow jackals.
Dave Anderson is able to do all that, and I love it.