So much going on! Six million plus ACA marketplace enrollees; New Hampshire joins the Medicaid expansion; North Adams Hospital closing; is saturated fat really good for you; on and on. Regrettably, those are not my topics today.
After about two and a half years of writing Health Stew at boston.com, this will be the final Stew entry here. The first entry was dated November 7 2011, and this is entry #206. The boston.com powers that be have decided to end their community voices blog series effective Monday, March 31, including yours truly.
I started the Stew at the request of Globe health editor Gideon Gil and had no clear idea how it would go or evolve, just hoping to find a way to talk about health policy -- US, Massachusetts, Greater Boston, and global -- in a way that some would find informative and helpful; also hoping, in a small way, to help counter the avalanche of deliberately misleading information about the Affordable Care Act.
The experience has been, for me, overwhelmingly positive. But then, I do suffer from the reverse of an affliction known as Irish Alzheimer's (only remember the grudges) and even now, can't recall a single negative message in the comments section! I have appreciated the significant number of you who, rather than posting anonymous comments, have reached out to me via email with your corrections, compliments, and complaints.
For me, the suspension comes at a fortuitous moment. Beginning in a week, I will be hosting the start of a US health policy massive-open-online-course (MOOC) for the Harvard School of Public Health, running until mid-June. I had wondered how I would find time for both MOOC and BLOG, and that conflict has now happily dissipated.
Some have reached out and suggested that I find another venue for the Stew, and I am going to consider that possibility, while taking a sabbatical of sorts at least until August or thereabouts. If you want to know where it may go, I will communicate through Facebook, Twitter, and Linked-In when there is news to convey.
Now also seems a convenient time in the history of the ACA to take a pause. The successful end of the first open enrollment period lays to rest the cocky predictions of the naysayers that the law would collapse. It won't. Health care justice is on the move in our nation, and it ain't going back.
So thank you to the powers-that-be at boston.com whom I never met. Thanks to Gideon and Chelsea Rice for their helpful collaboration. Thanks to my wife, Janice, who put up with my obsessive blogging episodes. Thanks to all of you who read and commented and suggested. And special thanks and hugs to all the fighters out there for health care justice, especially those in the toughest states like Mississippi and Texas and Louisiana. This I know -- we're winning, you too.
Not sure when or where, but I'll be back.
Thank you all and good luck!
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