CSR Updates

Two pieces of Cost Sharing Reduction subsidy news this morning.  First, we’ll start with the simple news.  Louise Norris reports that Colorado is switching from being a Broad Load state to a Silver Switch state.


This means that CSR costs in Colorado will be put onto only Silver On-Exchange plans. Currently CSR costs were spread to all plans of all metals. Bronze and Gold plans will get comparatively cheaper to Silver (the interaction of pulling out CSR while also dealing with a much sicker risk pool due to new federal policy means I can’t estimate actual price levels.) Off-Exchange buyers will now be held harmless for CSR in the state.

Colorado was one of the five states that Broad Loaded for 2018. It is rational for the remaining broad load states to move to Silver Load.

Now here is the big deal:

The insurers sued almost as soon as CSR payments were terminated.  They have a very strong case that the federal government promised payment for CSR and then reneged.  Nick thought that the courts would easily rule in favor of the insurers for the 4th quarter of 2017 where there was no ability to mitigate but going forward, Silver Loading would act as a mitigating factor to minimize total federal exposure.

If we assumed mitigation was relevant, than the CSR lawsuits were worth about $2 billion for 2017 and a lot less in 2018 as the vast majority of policies sold were under some type of mitigation effort.  Going past 2018, and assuming the CBO assumption that almost every state would Silver Load by 2019, mitigation would pretty much cancel out the termination of CSR.  If mitigation was relevant, the total net present value under dispute is easily under $5 billion dollars.  It is not nothing but it is an accounting error in federal budgetary terms.

The initial ruling makes mitigation irrelevant.  The net present value under dispute for the next decade could easily reach $100 billion dollars.  Now that is some real money.  Insurers could conceivably and legally double dip with premiums funding CSR and then the courts ordering CSR payments through the automatically appropriated Judgement Fund.

I am not a lawyer so I don’t know the likelihood of that ruling being reversed on appeal up to and including the Supreme Court.  I just know that there are going to be a lot billable hours.



Let’s Show Some Support

As we wait on more news about Lily, I keep going back to all the love and support you guys showed when Bailey passed suddenly – this morning especially as we retraced her final walk with Bixby for the first time.  Just your kind thoughts made that time easier.

John was especially supportive during that time.  I want to do something to make sure John only has to focus on Lily and getting her well. So…

I have not cleared this with John. He may well disapprove. But I suspect Lily’s treatment is going to be very expensive. And while he’s busy at the hospital, I’m hoping I can sneak this through…

Maybe it’s time to throw some pennies at the PayPal donation link if you can. If John doesn’t need it, I’m sure the money raised can go to blog improvements and/or an animal charity. But it does look like Immune-Mediated Thrombocytopenia can be expensive to treat.

Anyway, let’s show our host some love.

Sending good thoughts to Lily and John.

(and if you don’t hear from me again, you know I’ve been permanently banned for overstepping, just know it was worth it)

At the Hospital

This place is nicer than my hospital. I might come here and bark the next time I am unwell.

Lily is in the back being assessed. It’s a small thing, but the way the nurse so gently picked up Lily was very reassuring.

Open Thread: What Is This “Spring” Weather BS

My eyes are swollen and my sinuses are leaking with slow, maddening persistence. So is the sky, right now. And yet, the ground is still frozen. Via Popehat’s twitter feed:

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This Is What You Get When You Mess With Us

I don’t need another reason to loathe stoner contrarian and human jerk-off gesture Bill Maher.  But in the Washington Post over the weekend he bellyached over the mean, unfair boycotts the kids whose friends were mowed down in Florida have initiated, particularly the Laura Ingraham boycott. He sees a potential for his ox to get gored, so all his First Amendment hand-wringing is just so much transparently self-interested bullshit. Nothing to see here, really. One thing leapt out at me, though.

Last year, after the University of California at Berkeley canceled Ann Coulter’s speech, citing security concerns, Maher blasted the university.

“I know, we don’t like Ann Coulter’s views,” he said, to audience laughter. “I like her as a person. I’ve never agreed with one thing she ever said…”

“I like her as a person.” Isn’t that nice? What do you like specifically about a woman advocates shooting immigrants? Is she a lot of fun in the green room? Your kids go to the same private school?

I love to see media trolls put aside their differences and come together in mutual contempt for their audience. You see that kind of shit all the time. One of my favorite recurring columns in the dearly departed Spy Magazine was “Logrolling in Our Time.” It documented the gushing prose that celebrity authors would trade back and forth in kind about each others’ mediocre books. Asshole pundits all see themselves as playing for the same team. There’s something about the chumminess of it all that really makes my bile rise.

And you know you’re doing the work of the angels when you earn kudos from Sinclair.


I don’t have a super profound thought here, other than if the Parkland kids can shine a light on what trash these troll pundits are, they’re doing the Republic a greater service than they’ll ever know.

Okay, let’s take a deep breath, admire a fall-time fashion plate pic of Echo…

… and keep the momentum going with the 70 competitive races Swing Left has identified. We got a nice bump on that last post! Good job, y’all.

Goal Thermometer



Allow Me To Reintroduce Myself

I used to advise my students not to name their band anything clever or funny. In the very unlikely event that your band is still together after a year, it will be supremely annoying. Like being told the same knock-knock joke over and over by a six-year-old. In the even more unlikely event that your band actually becomes popular, then you will forever be “the Chumbawamba guy.” Do you really want that on your tombstone?

Jewish Steel was a nym I chose on the fly and based on a joke so laborious that when I explained it to my stony-faced wife…

“You see, there was a band called Judas Priest.”


“Well, ha-ha, they had a very popular album called British Steel.”


“But instead I called myself Jewish Steel!”


And so it is with a heavy heart that we blow “Taps” over a nym that has served me through two administrations. I will henceforth be using my almost real name. It’s what my friends call me. But you guys can use it too (zing!).

I certainly ain’t the religious type, but I prayed one up to whoever would listen on April 23rd of 2005. That prayer went something like, “Please let the number one pick in the NFL draft not become a world-famous pedophile.”

In other news I was a little surprised, perhaps naively, that not one commenter could muster a defense of Bernie in my hypothetical this past week. For what it is worth, I feel the same. I can certainly imagine a redemption arc for Sanders, but it would had to have begun on November 9th with a full embrace of the Democratic party. I’m not convinced my nightmare scenario of a Biden vs. Sanders Showdown of the Superannuated won’t happen. But if he keeps displaying the kind of tone-deafness he showed on MLK Day, he might be well out of the running before things even get started. That would suit me fine.


In Jewish Steel’s honor, and all that he stood for, let’s raise a little money for Swing Left and the 70 congressional districts they consider competitive.


Goal Thermometer


Crime of the Century

Nothing special to see here. Just a couple of dogs. What’s that red disk? Seems out of place…

Ah, yes. That is where that disk goes. On top of this jar. Which was full 10 minutes ago.

“In exchange for lenience I will confess. I temporarily had possession of 1/3 of that jar of bickies. You will find the evidence in the kitchen and backyard!” Great. Where’s the other 2/3?




“I regret nothing.”


















Here is the fund that’s split between all eventual
Democratic nominees in House districts currently held by Republicans.

Goal Thermometer