First, the Connector board and staff make up an impressive and confidence inspiring group. They are wrestling with unprecedented challenges never tackled by anyone in the United States, and doing so openly, candidly, and smartly.
Second, particular kudos to Board Chair Leslie Kirwan and ED Jon Kingsdale, kind of a ying and yang act. Kingsdale and staff push the envelope with leading-edge information and suggestions, and Kirwan brings the discussion back to earth, separating what’s really known from what’s only beginning to emerge. It’s a star performance by both.
Third, Kirwan deserves credit and praise for rightly focusing on the impressive gains in Commonwealth Care enrollment, and the challenges ahead in completing this task successfully. There are significant potential budget challenges ahead – and it’s too early to draw conclusions on how difficult they will be to address. CommCare’s challenges are challenges of success, not of failure.
Fourth, interesting discussions and comments on CommCare, in particular how the issues of enrollment success/budget challenges and MMCO profitability are distinct.
Fifth, the discussion on health care spending and ways to address it (weaved in throughout the day) was the most informed and thoughtful discussion I’ve heard in any public venue in many years. Because the Connector stands at the intersection of CommCare, CommChoice, the individual mandate, premium inflation, and state spending pressures, this just may be the place where the real critical thinking on cost-containment in Massachusetts happens.
We could do a lot worse.