Editorial: Ears open as filings are closing

Feb. 26, 2014 @ 11:58 PM

As the election filing period prepares to close at noon on Friday, voters are preparing for rhetoric. We’d encourage a sharpening of listening devices, so as to drown out the white noise.

White noise is a metaphor for meaningless sound, random talk void of contents.

As voters, we have to be focused on the issues. We have to discern what the candidates are telling us, and if we know why, then we might just find blanks in a few statements.

One issue that will draw considerable chatter is the Affordable Care Act. In these midterm elections, we’re going to hear plenty about the people who helped put it in place, what they did or did not choose to do at its problematic rollout and what can be done in the future.

The issue is not meaningless.

But because of the political tendency to repeat until it must seem believable or be assumed true, we’ll be challenged. We have to check facts, we must have good resources and we must not rely on the loudest or most repetitive.

In many cases, they should arguably be the least trusted.

We agree with the governors who met last weekend in Washington. The ACA isn’t going anywhere anytime soon, whether citizens feel it needs to or not. It has always been too big, and perhaps now falls into the too big to fail category.

More than 3 million Americans were signed up before Feb. 1, and with a month to go some states, including North Carolina, have exceeded projections. The White House hoped for 7 million nationally by April 1.

We struggle to see how coverage would be taken away from those who needed and have gained it since Oct. 1. Then, too, we were flummoxed once already when coverages were dropped despite promises to the contrary.

We believe more coverage will be dropped or significantly altered in the next 22 months.

Unknowns continue to outpace knowns with this law, and that is its legacy and most troubling aspect.

Between now and November, we advise not to be swept into fear of an issue or the blame for it. Words on each may win elections, but they don’t solve the problem.

Our ear is open for the ACA 2.0.