For a writer, coming up with the idea is alltoo often the hardest part. At least it's always been that way forme. After that—good or bad—it just pours right out.

|

 “I never had to choose a subject—my subject ratherchose me,” Ernest Hemingway, my role model, once said, and I guessthat's how it works for me, too.

|

This week, a pair of surprisingly upbeat health care reportsdropped that made for a refreshing change of pace from all theother dreary stories that pour off the wire. And I couldn't wait toget back to my office and write about it.

|

First, we get a Kaiser Family Foundation report that healthinsurance costs climbed a modest 4 percent this year, a prettysignificant slowdown, historically speaking. And don't get ittwisted, health costs still leave wages (at 1.7 percent) andinflation (around 2.3 percent) in the dust, but any slowdown thereis good news.

|

That's followed a day later by a Census Bureau report that showsthe rate of uninsureds in this country falling for the first timein five years. In fact, the drop from 16.3 percent to 15.7 millionpercent represents the biggest dip since 1999.

|

And while it's clear the PPACA provision allowing kids—so tospeak—to stay on their parents' plans until they turn 26 hadsomething to do with increase in insureds, I'd hesitate to give toomuch credit to the president's health reform law. I have to agreewith the Heritage Foundation's John Goodman, who argued the slowingeconomy had more to do with at least the slowing health costincreases, with people showing a little bit more discretion (i.e.overdue common sense) when it comes to spending money on healthcare. And keep in mind that the other reason so many people areinsured now is because so many more are on government plans.

|

But as I sat down to write about all of this, an earlier pieceI'd written (over on Benefits Pro) inspired so much vitriol thatthe emails and phone calls cut off every other sentence I'd try tohammer out. And aside from the usual catcalls over my media bias,the surprise criticism came from those castigating me for daring towrite about politics (never mind presidential politics).

|

For starters, if you've read me for any length of time, you knowhow naive a complaint that is. I just can't.

|

And, finally, what's happening in this presidential campaignthreatens our way of life, maybe more so than any in recent memory.And this isn't some gloomy rhetoric from a one-time wannabespeechwriter. We've seen the president's health reform law close anentire chunk of our market, scale back the rest and let the specterof a federal takeover linger in the shadows like some scary bedtimestory meant to keep naughty kids in check.

|

Sleep tight…

Complete your profile to continue reading and get FREE access to BenefitsPRO, part of your ALM digital membership.

  • Critical BenefitsPRO information including cutting edge post-reform success strategies, access to educational webcasts and videos, resources from industry leaders, and informative Newsletters.
  • Exclusive discounts on ALM, BenefitsPRO magazine and BenefitsPRO.com events
  • Access to other award-winning ALM websites including ThinkAdvisor.com and Law.com
NOT FOR REPRINT

© 2024 ALM Global, LLC, All Rights Reserved. Request academic re-use from www.copyright.com. All other uses, submit a request to [email protected]. For more information visit Asset & Logo Licensing.