Clearing up a few things...
2018 MIDTERM ELECTION
Time: D H M S
In the past 2 days, there have been two very flattering profile pieces published about ACASignups.net and myself. Both are pretty in-depth and involve interviews with others as well as myself, and they're both very well-written, but I do feel a need to clear up a few things:
1. I don’t “hate” being compared to Nate Silver; It’s incredibly flattering. I just think it’s a bit of an insult to HIM. That isn't false modesty...I really don't know anything about "probability distribution" or "loglinear regression" (in fact, I had to look those terms up just now).
2. I didn’t expect HHS to release the full, 30-page report every week, I just figured they'd release the top-line numbers (X in QHPs, Y in Medicaid or whatever) on a weekly basis (and hope they decide to do so the next time around).
3. I didn’t know that Aaron Strauss was a data consultant or that he was in charge of the Analyst Institute; I figured he was a regular schmoe like myself.
4. None of my clients has actually said (yet) “That’s great, but where’s my website”?; that’s just what I'd be saying if I was in their shoes. A few have started to become understandably impatient, and I'm likely to lose a couple when the dust settles, however.
5. When I said "It doesn't do any good to have a huge number of people enrolled if they're all going to have diabetes", I'm not disrespecting those with the disease; I just mean that from an actuarial POV, it's the overall health mix of those who enroll which is important, not so much the total number.
6. The section about me "not tracking" unpaid enrollments is, as anyone who follows this site regularly knows, simply not true. I have tracked this data in great (exhaustive) detail, just keeping it separate from the paid enrollments whenever possible.
What is true, however, is that after months of arguing the point with detractors until I was blue in the face, I finally mushed all the data together into a simplified formula: 85% paid plus another 8% who will pay by the time their invoice is due or shortly thereafter (give or take). So no, I don't really track it on a daily/weekly basis anymore, but yes, if there's solid evidence that I'm off on my "93% paid-or-will-pay" rule, I'll be happy to nudge it up or down accordingly in the future.
7. Probably the most important clarification: I am not a "team of one". There are a couple dozen people who have been contributing enrollment data, links to surveys, reports and articles about the paid/unpaid issue, previously insured/uninsured issue and many other related topics for months...some of whom have been assisting me with this project since the beginning.
There are a few in particular who have gone way above and beyond the call of duty, both of whom are listed on The Graph: Olav Grinde and David Button. Olav provided easily over half of the data source links from late October until mid-February, and David has kind of taken over as the chief data-link-provider since then. In addition, Esther Ferington has acted as an unofficial copy editor, bringing typos and grammatical errors to my attention. A dozen or more others have provided data links here and there, and of course plenty of other people have made financial donations (without which I might have had to close up shop a couple of months ago).
So please don't think that I'm trying to hog all the credit here. This has been a team effort by dozens of people trying to accurately record and place into context the implementation of one part (an important one, but still just one part) of the larger Patient Protection & Affordable Care Act (which is the full name of the law, for that matter).
I hope neither journalist is offended by these clarifications. In some cases it was my own fault for how I worded things. The main thing I want to stress is that I couldn't have done this without the help of Olav, David and many other people.