BREAKING: HHS Sec. Azar says he WON'T do the stupidest thing possible after all (for 2019, anyway)

A couple of months ago, I sounded a (semi-muted) alarm about the future of Silver Loading and Silver Switching of Cost Sharing Reduction costs when CMS Administrator Seema Verma not only failed to state flat-out that she wouldn't attempt to stop these workarounds, but started giving indications that she was actively considering doing just that.

If this were to happen, then it would be devastating to millions of people while helping almost no one, as my colleagues Dave Anderson, Andrew Sprung, Louise Norris and I explained in Health Affairs a few weeks back.

Well, it appears that this particular bullet will be dodged for at least one year, anyway:

HHS won’t ban silver-loading this year, Azar admits after being pressed. No time to write broad-loading regs for 2019 plan year.

— Alex Ruoff (@Alexruoff) June 6, 2018

Azar tells House committee that HHS is not going to mess with "silver loading" that mitigates Trump's cancelation of CSR payments for 2019. "That would actually require regulations which simply couldn't be done in time for the 2019 plan period in any event" he says

— Peter Sullivan (@PeterSullivan4) June 6, 2018

Overall, he says it's "not an easy question" whether to act to mandate or encourage a change to silver-loading

— Peter Sullivan (@PeterSullivan4) June 6, 2018

On the one hand, this is good news. It should also spur even more states to make the move towards full Silver Switching (or at the very least, Silver Loading).

On the other hand, the fact that Azar and Verma are still considering requiring Broad Loading at all (the worst possible way to handle CSR load) is troubling...the tweets above show that it was mostly a matter of not having enough time to do so.

I'm also intrigued by who, exactly, was the one on the House committee to "press" Azar on this point. Hoping it was someone who's been reading Anderson, Sprung, Norris or my work?

UPDATE: Hah! Thanks to a kind soul for providing the link to answer my last question: It was Dem. Representative Joe Courtney of Connecticut who pushed Azar on the issue.