Friday, September 24, 2010

September 23, 2010--The beginning of a new day in health care in America

As I'm sure you know, yesterday was the first day that a number of the new health care insurance market provisions of the Affordable Care Act went into effect. I'm sure you've heard the drill: no more excluding children under 19 with pre-existing conditions, no more deductibles or co-pays for preventive care, no more cancelling your policy when you get sick unless the insurance company can prove that you intentionally withheld important information when you applied, no more lifetime limits on how much your insurance company has to pay for your medical care, and a minimum of $750,000 in annual limits, phasing out to no annual limits in 2014.

On a personal note, these are some of the provisions that it is my job to enforce, along with the Departments of Insurance in the states.

The post to the right, by John Garamendi on Huffington Post, tells some stories about real people who have already been helped by this law. If you make it through almost to the bottom, you'll see some extraordinarily gracious remarks John made about me. It's possible that someone outside my immediate family has said such nice things about me before, but I can't remember when.

Is this law perfect, or is it the end of the need for reform to our health care system? Unquestionably not. Is it a enormous step forward, and will it help millions of Americans get affordable, quality health care? Unquestionably yes.

Friday, September 17, 2010

It's been a while

It's been quite a while since I posted here last. The main reason is that there's very little that I can say about what I'm doing at work--we are busy drafting regulations, developing options for how we are going to enforce the Affordable Care Act, and none of it is public just yet. And I don't want to become one of those people you read about in the paper who had to resign because of impolitic comments in a blog.

I can say that the work environment is wonderful--everyone is smart, dedicated, motivated, excited to be doing this work, pleasant to work with, a team player, etc. etc. There is something about our mission and the fact that we are creating something new that so far has enabled us to keep our spirits high despite impossible deadlines, not enough people, many and conflicting demands on our time. The staff that I've put together for the Division of Enforcement has already been recognized for its superb work and work ethic. I am proud to be doing this job with them.

Meanwhile, Liz came out at the end of August, just in time for the weather to turn from the miserable heat and humidity we had for three months. We love the neighborhood and all the places we can walk to easily from our apartment. Liz has started blogging as well, you can follow her at