Monday, June 18, 2012

The Waiting is the Hardest Part

It's been crazy the past few weeks and I'm thoroughly exhausted.  I'm not sure how much longer I can will myself out of bed every morning and into this office to start writing my blog at 6 am and then work full-steam until 8 or 9 pm, nonstop.  I need a break, but according to my calendar, I have no time, no day without commitments, too much to do to take a day off.  Do my clients, the CT Health Insurance Exchange, and the imminent Supreme Court case take precedence over myself?  I know the right answer is "no," but we're so incredibly busy that taking a day off means falling behind, and that affects me at least as much as it affects my clients.  Oh, well.  No point in dwelling on this question.  I'm here and it's time to work.  So here's the news.

According to the NY Times, I would get more done in a day if I took breaks.  Really?  Because what I do most of the day is respond to emails and take phone calls, and it seems to me that, if I took a break, I'd just have to work even later to respond to all the incoming calls and emails I get every day. 

And what if the Supreme Court ruling comes down?  I can't not be on top of that whenever it happens.  So much can change, depending on the ruling.  Much of my work life hangs in the balance.  If the law is struck down, not only would we lose coverage of pre-existing conditions, but we could also lose independent reviews of health plan coverage denials, and that would change everything for our clients.  Not to mention the systems changes that have come about as a result of the health reform law -- the emphasis on primary care, paying providers for outcomes rather than services.  Can we predict the outcome based on the oral arguments?  I sure hope not.  Regardless of the content of the decision, the media is set to go nuts over it.  I've already given two "what if" interviews -- and I'm nobody.  Imagine what happens when we know the decision -- endless analysis.  And the blogosphere?  Some conservative bloggers are already expressing their concern that Justice Kennedy may vote to uphold the law.  Others -- like me -- are concerned that he will vote to strike it down.  Justice Ginsberg predicts sharp disagreement -- that much, we already knew.  The Supreme Court police are ready for protests.  No matter what happens, the Court's decision will not be the last word.  Both the federal government and the states will be looking to see what the Court's decision leaves open as possibilities because everybody gets that a return to the way things were is not tenable, with costs rising like mad and the number of uninsured rising along with them.  Interestingly, many of those who would benefit from health reform don't know about it -- or don't vote at all.  So what to Dems have to gain?  How about just doing the right thing?

And that's the news -- sort of funny to have the news dominated by speculation over what the news might be and how people will react to it.  Expect the next two weeks (or how ever long we have until the Supreme Court rules) to be dominated by this -- the what ifs, the wondering when, the posturing, the politicking, the speculating.  For me, the thought of losing coverage of pre-existing conditions is overwhelmingly scary.  The thought of losing external appeals is a close second.  But all we can do is wait.

Have a great day!  Jennifer

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