What could possibly have more suspense this week than waiting to find out the winner of American Idol Wednesday night? If you happened to be in the offices of Atlantic Information Services (AIS) this week, the answer would be speculation that the eagerly awaited Supreme Court decision on the health reform law was set to come down today. And as is usually the case, this bout of speculation ended up being nothing more than a rumor.
The frenzy started on Monday when a colleague reported to us that a source said the decision was imminent and likely would come down today. The reaction in our humble third floor suite in downtown Washington, D.C., was something akin to a “stop the presses” moment. Nearly everyone was in a tizzy trying to figure out how to cover “THE EVENT,” given that the decision might come down the day before a three-day weekend and Friday is when Health Plan Week and other publications go to press. The excitement reached a fever pitch on Tuesday when another coworker reported he too had heard from a source that today would be the day, though the source gave the caveat that rumors are rumors. How prescient.
Without going into further details on how the rest of the week went, suffice to say it was enough to give this editor some heart palpitations considering I am in charge of a webinar AIS will be doing on the ruling and its implications shortly after the decision comes down, whenever that may be. But reflecting on how things went down in the office related to this speculation, I couldn’t help but think how much of an impact rumors — even though in many cases they end up being just that — end up impacting our lives, especially those of us who are involved in the health insurance industry.
Whether it’s speculation around earnings season or about executive changes at insurers, it seems that a week can’t pass by where each of us hears a rumor involving the industry. And while rumors circulate around many industries, do we ever stop to think just why we tend to give them such credibility in the first place?
With Memorial Day on Monday, I personally will take the time to reflect on the ultimate sacrifices that many of our servicemen and servicewomen have made in the name of defending our country and our freedoms. Those who serve in our armed forces are sometimes put in harm’s way based on rumors. And to that, I say maybe we should tone down the amount of stock we put in rumors, whether in the workplace or on the battlefield.