Friday, December 31, 2010

End of a year of change

This has been a year of change, in many unexpected ways. For me, it meant a move to DC, first to work for Congressman Garamendi as his Chief of Staff, and then in the Office of Oversight in OCIIO at HHS. By now you know that Dave has decided to keep Adam on as GC. I hadn't wanted to say anything until he made the announcement.  I'm disappointed, but I've also got plenty more to do at my job in DC.  

All the best for a happy and healthy New Year.  That job has brought some unexpected changes as well; I never imagined that I would be managing the teams responsible for drafting two sets of regulations implementing major parts of health care reform; one on how the requirement that health plans spend 80 or 85% of premium dollars on clinical care or activities that improve health care quality, the other establishing a process for review of "unreasonable" increases in health care premiums.

The process was long and exhausting, including working late into the night. I think that any reasonably objective view would be that we did an excellent job of staying true to the language of the statute (sometimes rather opaque), giving deference to the States as much as possible, while providing a federal "floor" that will protect consumers.

Next year will bring it's challenges, as the political environmental will be, shall we say, less friendly to our efforts. We will persevere.

Happy New Year to you all, I hope that 2011 brings you all the happiness that life can offer.