Today is officially Ray Castro’s last day as Director of Health Policy at New Jersey Policy Perspective. Those are some tough words to write, because anyone who knows Ray knows that he means a great deal not just to NJPP but to the entire state of New Jersey and, to be completely honest, researchers and analysts across the nation.
Combining a wonderful resume of accomplishments working for state government along with his time here, Ray’s career is a blueprint of success for anyone in public-interest work. All of us in this sector would be lucky to exert the positive impact that he has, and his contributions have drastically improved the health and welfare of all New Jerseyans.
Ray’s work and expertise were on greatest display during the pitched battles to secure and protect the Affordable Care Act (ACA). He quickly and effectively produced a report showing how many people in each congressional district were at risk of losing their insurance coverage should the ACA be eliminated, and his research was picked up by advocates across the country to show specifically how their communities would be harmed by such a move. Many leaders have credited that report with helping to save health care coverage for millions of people, and it was all thanks to Ray.
No matter how challenging our work would get, Ray helped everyone keep it simple. He always focused on the fact that doing the right thing for people, no matter who they are or where they come from, is the most important thing—and he did so with a cheery attitude that is far too rare in this day and age. We can’t thank Ray enough for his sharp research and tireless advocacy over the past 14 years and will dearly miss his expertise, guidance, and partnership.
Congratulations on a retirement very well deserved and best wishes to you and your family!