Well this is pretty cool...

As regular readers know, I repeatedly mentioned my presentation to the Society of Actuaries annual conference in Atlanta, GA a cuople of weeks ago. This was a Big Deal® for me for a couple of reasons: First, it was my first out-of-town speaking engagement; second, it's the first time I've flown anywhere in nearly a decade; and third, the event happened to take place smack in the middle of KingvBurwell-apalooza. Considering that this is the Society of Actuaries, that meant a hell of a lot; it was on everyone's mind throughout the event, especially since there was a good chance at the time that the Supreme Court decision would be announced the very next day (that Thursday).

Aside from my being incredibly tired and frumpled from flying into town Coach just a few hours earlier (formal suit, 90+ degree weather), the event went very well; the crowd was only around 40 people (the main conference had already ended earlier in the day; this was sort of a supplemental workshop thing they added on), which was fine with me; I probably would've frozen up if I had to speak to 1,000 people at once. Before and afterwards I got to spend some time talking shop (and SHOP...bad pun) with everyone, including a guy named Hans Leida, who happens to be a Principal and Consulting Actuary at Milliman, one of the biggest names in actuarial services. Nice guy and smart as hell.

I want to stress that it's not Leida's job to "take sides" on this sort of thing. As an actuary, he analyzes the data and gives his best projections as to what will happen under different circumstances.

I'm bringing this up because if you look on Page 8 of the actual King v. Burwell decision, you'll notice this (it's actually the 3rd page of the decision itself):

For another example, also in 1993, New York adopted the guaranteed issue and community rating requirements. Over the next few years, some major insurers in the individual market raised premiums by roughly 40 percent. By 1996, these reforms had “effectively eliminated the commercial individual indemnity market in New York with the largest individual health insurer exiting the market.” L. Wachenheim & H. Leida, The Impact of Guaranteed Issue and Community Rating Reforms on States’ Individual Insurance Markets 38 (2012).

Anyway, I just thought it was kind of cool that I got to hang out & talk with someone who directly influenced a Supreme Court decision. In this case, Leida and his co-writer were basically explaining how insurance rate premiums would almost certainly skyrocket if the King plaintiffs were to win their case based on a decision in New York State to offer guaranteed coverage (no denial for pre-existing conditions, etc) without also offering financial assistance to those who needed it and a mandate requiring people to enroll in coverage.