Since the Affordable Care Act enrollment deadline on March 31 has come and passed, there has been much said about the numbers of the newly insured.
Summarizing an April 5 Saturday Forum, comments against the ACA ranged from statements decrying that it is a pathetic failure, the call to repealing Obamacare, the plan is unaffordable, the uninsured number is not reduced, and the common charge there is no faith in the administration.
If this sounds like the repeated rhetoric of the right-wing talk shows, which creates their own facts out of inconsistencies -- it is.
A study released April 8 by the Rand Corp. is finding that "the number of Americans without insurance has plummeted since September."
Furthermore, the Rand survey has determined from its study that a net increase of 9.3 million people have gained coverage since September.
Surveys do have a margin of error; in this one it is 3.5 million enrolled into the ACA. According to Rand's study team, the numbers should increase as more sign into the program (which we have observed in the past week).
You probably now ask, why are these enrollment numbers increasing? Summarizing the survey findings:
1. The ACA was not aimed at covering those people enrolling in the open marketplace.
2. Employment sponsored insurance have increased the numbers of insured.
3. The incentives to sign up in the workplace for those individuals who have previously forgone coverage has increased.
4. As more individuals are returning to the workplace, this allows for increased insurance pools.
5. Increased number of young adults up to age 26 can now be added to their parents' coverage.
6. Those people being denied health coverage because of pre-existing health issues are now being covered.
7. Fourteen GOP-led states (13 GOP governors) are preventing implementation of the Affordable Care Act. Not only are these states denying health care to U.S. citizens, but also for political gain are lowering the vast pool of potential enrollees to the program.
Both the Gallup and Rand survey have stated that the uninsured rate has dropped from 20.5 percent to 15.8 percent.
The Supreme Court has ruled in favor of the ACA. The House of Representative has voted 52 times to repeal the ACA. This is not only a waste of the taxpayer dollars, it is unproductive use of their time and is politically motivated.
The GOP seems to have selective memory loss. The ACA was a compromise for the single-payer and government-option proposals. Furthermore, the ACA was formulated on the foundation, policy and procedure of Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney's insurance plan.
For those who have said they have no faith in this administration, remember since day one (January 2009), the GOP leadership has conspired to block every proposal by the people's elected president.
This conspiracy to take down this health coverage program is just another example of the GOP's goal of making this administration fail and using the American people (their health/welfare) as pawns for political gain.
Finally, to label the ACA as a pathetic failure is prejudging and ignoring the facts before full implementation of the program is allowed to produce results.
In the full spirit of democracy, let's help those in need, in this case medical insurance for all.
John Soulis is a resident of Fremont.