I’m back from a trip to Washington, DC earlier this week, which leads to the question: What do Tim Clue and 800 underwriters and health care experts have in common?

Much to my surprise, the answer is: some practical solutions and hope for improving ACA rather than smack talk and bad politics. Yep, I was in the belly of the beast with a backstage pass to the most tedious conversation on earth — and loving it. Don’t worry, I’ll explain.

So, I’m in the back with the tech folks prepping my thing for the annual kick off to NAHU’s Capitol Conference 2017. NAHU stands for National Association of Health Underwriters, for those still reading. Yeah, it sounds a little dry — I get that. In fact, when I looked at the schedule and noticed that prior to me was a 45-minute panel entitled “NAHU Board Updates Public Policy,” I thought: Wow, if this were a panel on Suduko best practices I’m not sure you could ask for a more exciting lead-in. Sarcasm meter just went to 10, but guess what — they were great! Not great as in a laff-riot, but great as in thoughtful, practical, direct, analytical, and self-aware. That kind of great.

So why do I bother telling anyone about my behind-the-curtain peek into one of our nation’s most sensitive and contentious arguments? Well, I was reminded again of the style chasm between the practitioners and the politicians. I thought maybe hearing that there was some deep thinking going on — rather than the current blitzkrieg of distortions and fear-based delivery systems guiding the other conversations — might put a skip in somebody’s step. It did mine. Amidst all the turmoil and disquieting news these days, it’s good to be reminded that there are still smart people working on solutions to the challenges ahead … and they won’t give up.

Also: thanks to the folks at NAHU for sharing this on-stage photo of some improv fun & games with the attendees.

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