Daily Briefing Blog

Health care is a puzzle. Think you can solve it?


Dan Diamond, Managing Editor

My friend and colleague Ben Umansky is one of the smartest guys I know.

But don’t simply take my word for it.

Judge Ben’s wordplay.

I’ve linked below to a crossword puzzle that Ben created for fun and shared with me recently; we both thought Daily Briefing readers might get a kick out of it.

(Click on the image to pull up a full, printable version of the puzzle; you also can right-click here to save the PDF to your computer.)

If you're a regular reader of the Daily Briefing, you're in luck: The crossword contains not one, not two, but four separate clues that are Affordable Care Act provisions, plus several other terms drawn from science and medicine.

(As crosswords go, this one is a challenge but very doable; I'm embarrassed to confess how much time it took me to solve it. Although perhaps I would’ve found the answer more quickly if I hadn’t overlooked clue 49-Across—“Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen”—until the puzzle was nearly done.)

From checking clues to checking the pulse of Obamacare

Coming up with crossword puzzles is one of Ben’s weekend hobbies. Perhaps that’s not wholly surprising for a guy who spends his days sleuthing out the mysteries of hospital strategy and finance, as practice manager of our Health Care Advisory Board.

Lately, both of us have been laboring to solve a different puzzle: What will the Affordable Care Act mean for the nation's health care system? 

Along with Piper Su—the Advisory Board's Vice President of Health Policy—we've tried to share our ongoing insights and demystify the ACA through a series of "Pulse Check on Obamacare" calls. Each webconference features a look at the recent news on health reform, analysis of implications for the industry, and ample Q&A from folks who have dialed in.

Our third call in the series is coming up on Wednesday March 19 at 1 p.m., and you're welcome to join us. As a teaser, here's some of what we'll be discussing:

Here's how to get more information: You can click here to listen to our first two archived webconferences, see the slides, or sign up for Wednesday’s call. Feel free to drop me a line if you have questions. 

We've gotten great feedback on the first two calls, and hope Wednesday's discussion will address some of your peskiest questions about the ACA. 

But that's not all that Wednesday's call might solve; every attendee will get an answer sheet for Ben's crossword puzzle, too.


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