A Personal Request.
I've been operating ACASignups.net for nearly 4 years now. It started out as a nerdy hobby thing in my spare time, but quickly overtook my life. I always planned to shut it down after the first Open Enrollment Period ended back in April 2014...and then in March 2015...and again in 2016. Year after year, people clamored for me to keep it going one more year.
At this point a year ago I really planned on winding things down as of around April 2017. My reasoning was simple: If Hillary Clinton succeeded Barack Obama as President, there probably wouldn't be that much ongoing interest in my work here. After all, I figured, it's not like there are websites devoted to breathlessly tracking Social Security enrollments in real time. After four years, I assumed that interest in the site would drop off enough that it would be time to archive the site and refocus on my day job. Yes, that's right: I have a day job as a freelance website developer. I know that's hard to believe given how much time I spend on ACA/healthcare matters, but it's true...and frankly, I've been increasingly neglecting that business more and more of late, right when I should have been building it back up again.
Needless to say, that's not how things played out. Instead, interest in the site and the work I do here to crunch numbers, analyze data and educate the public about the consequences of healthcare policy changes has instead become higher than it has since that first crazy Open Enrollment Period over 3 years ago.
Until now, I've received support for my work here through a combination of banner ads and one-time donations via PayPal and GoFundMe, and I'm eternally grateful to those who've helped out, but if I'm going to continue working on this site, analyzing healthcare data, debunking fake/misleading claims and educating the public about how the ACA works, the real problems it has, how to fix them and where we should go from here, I need to have a more stable, consistent source of support. That's where Patreon comes in.
If you're not familiar with Patreon, it's pretty simple. Instead of making a one-time pledge/donation the way that you do with fundraising sites like KickStarter or GoFundMe, with Patreon you pledge to make a small monthly donation on an ongoing basis. Here's an excellent, in-depth article about Patreon over at The Verge. It's similar to a subscription-only site, but without the limitations--all content on ACASignups.net will still be available to all visitors, it's just that you'd be supporting me over at Patreon, where I'll also be adding some additional content/analysis there as well. For those who pledge higher support levels, I'll be experimenting with a few more bells & whistles like the occasional podcast and/or livestream Q&A, that sort of thing. (Of course, if you'd prefer to stick with a one-time donation, the PayPal/GoFundMe routes are also still available!)
Anyway, check it out and please become a patron today!