Is it meeting stated goals?

We as a society pass laws for a specific purpose. We want our efforts to lead to some desirable outcome. Passing laws that have no clear desired outcome or effect is meaningless. Several years ago we passed a law called the Affordable Care Act. This law was specifically designed, according to the communication, campaigning and media coverage, to provide “affordable” health-care policies and to lower the total number of “uninsured” citizens in the country. Implied in that are two very critical metrics — affordability and reduction in uninsured citizens.

Over the subsequent years we heard hours upon hours of selling and rhetoric for and against the law. Lines were drawn with both sides digging their heels regardless of facts. This week it was about the goal of 7 million “enrolled.” We met that goal — since it has been loosely defined it does not matter how you argue for or against it. However, for a law that is both compulsory and backed with a penalty — is this really a goal? What is the value of this goal when we have 320 million citizens? I challenge you as citizens to reflect on the two key reasons the law was passed. Did we reduce the number of uninsured from 50 million the presidential campaign stated? Did we reduce the average premium the citizens have paid out over time?

Did the Affordable Care Act make health insurance more affordable and drive the number of uninsured downward? If you do any research at all, you probably cannot find mention of these factors in the press. All you hear is the enrollment number and the arguments for or against the legitimacy of that number. In my opinion, that’s a waste of time and deceptive advertising. If the ACA fails to meet its true goals, we as Americans should fight hard and stand strong to change or abolish it.

Don Thompson

Lake Stevens