UPDATE: Thank You! We didn't crack the Top 10, but still have a very good chance.

UPDATE 3/19/16: OK, the voting period is finally over (for real, this time). The bad news is that we didn't quite crack the Top 10 in the end; our panel ended up with 11th place (122 votes), barely missing out on the 10th spot by a mere 3 votes.

The good news is that only 10 of the 90 total panel sessions were determined by the new voting system. The remaining 80 will presumably be decided by the traditional Netroots Nation selection committee process...and ours should still have an excellent chance of being picked, for two reasons:

  • First, there are only 188 panels to choose from total. 10 of them have been accounted for, leaving 80 more out of 178 total. That's a 45% chance based purely on the number of entries.
  • More importantly, I ran a search for "Health", "Healthcare", "insurance", "Obamacare", "Affordable Care Act", "ACA" and "Uninsured"...and as far as I can tell, our panel is the only one focused on the U.S. Healthcare/Insurance system at all.

I'm serious. There are 4 other panels which relate to healthcare in some way...but two of them are about reproductive health, one is about mental health only, and is about Flint/Detroit Public Schools. All of these are important topics, and worthy of discussion...but given the ongoing brouhaha between the Bernie and Hillary camps over single payer and the Affordable Care Act, I was rather surprised that we have the field to ourselves.

It could be argued that others saw that ours was already submitted so didn't bother, but we didn't even submit our panel until the first submission deadline on the 11th, and there were no other ACA/SP-related submissions as of then to begin with.

Anyway, now we have to sit back and wait. The first round of selections is supposed to take place around April 8th, with the final decision made around May 2nd, so there's not much else to say about it until then.

Thanks to everyone who voted; please keep your fingers crossed for us!


...for the Netroots Nation healthcare panel that I’m hoping to be on this summer, hopefully joining:

Netroots Nation will be held from July 14-17 in St. Louis, MO this year, and they're handling their panel submission process a bit differently this time around by opening up some of the panel slots for voting. The top 10 vote-getters will join about 80 others in being scheduled for the convention.

Note that you have to be logged into a Netroots Nation account in order to vote on the panels, but once logged in, I hope a few folks will vote for ours (you can also find it by searching for “Uninsured” in the search field).

In addition to the extended voting period, it turns out you can vote once per 24-hour period, so if you already voted, you can log back in and vote AGAIN today!!

The topic of the panel would essentially boil down to the "incremental improvements or single payer now" debate which I stuck my foot into back in January/February:

Getting to Zero Percent Uninsured: Small Steps and Large Goals

The ACA has cut the uninsurance rate almost in half, but it's still left a bit more than 10% of the adult population uninsured, and a larger chunk underinsured. Where do we go from here? How can we make quality healthcare affordable to all without busting federal & state budgets?

That question suggests 2 more: What healthcare system would be ideal and how can we move toward it given current US political realities? Combining long- and short-term thinking, we will consider healthcare reform 2.0 under the following circumstances:

1) What can a Democratic President do administratively? (more than you'd think)
2) What can be done with a Republican Congress? 
3) What could be done with a Democratic Congress?
4) What could be done with a large Democratic majority?

Moderator: Dr. Paul Song
Panelists: Charles Gaba, Amy Lotven, Andrew Sprung