(It’s just a slightly different tone. It’s still the greatest thing, you know.)

Three years ago this month, the editors of The News & Observer were confidently predicting a day when we proles would look toward the ACA with happy reverence, the way posters depicted dutiful Soviet children gazing at Uncle Joe. With the ACA, the editors declared “the future is promising,” and they confidently predicted that:

Today the editorial board acknowledges a few trifles on why we aren’t marveling at the utter sensibility of the working ACA, yet. This is from an editorial entitled “Despite rate hikes, the ACA still works“:

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina, the only company that offers health care policies in all 100 counties in the state, has announced an average 24.3 percent cost increase for premiums on policies under the individual plans through the Affordable Care Act.

Not all customers will pay more, and 90 percent of those insured under the ACA already, through federal exchanges, will continue to get subsidies which will make their premiums affordable. A 32 percent hike went into effect this year.

BCBS has felt big losses from its ACA business, and two companies, UnitedHealthcare and Aetna, have pulled out of ACA coverage.

Only one other company, Cigna, is planning to offer coverage in North Carolina, in five counties in the Raleigh area.

Just so you know, these admissions came after the lede sentence

It was, at least, no surprise.

No surprise?

No surprise?

You guys told everyone this disaster would “work and people will like it and wonder why it took so long to put something as sensible as the Affordable Care Act into place”!

They don’t tell you, as John Hood does this morning in Carolina Journal, that last year’s increase was one of the largest in the country.

Continued reading, you’ll glean the following:

BCBS is saddled with “some 260,000” customers stranded from the other insurance companies pulling out of ACA coverage.

• A “good many” of those quarter million customers dumped on the last remaining ACA insurance provider left “may have significant and costly medical issues.”

• Not enough young, healthy people are signing up, which … well … “This is one aspect of the ACA — which required most people to get insurance or pay a penalty — that is an ongoing problem.”

• You know who’s to blame, though. “Republicans in Congress” are creating a “partisan divide in Congress” preventing them from voting to “‘tweak’ the ACA.”

Although to tweak is “to make a minor adjustment to,” the necessary tweaks include

  1. “to prevent companies from pulling out of a market” — an actual law forcing companies to stay where they’re losing too much money to survive, or else
  2. “to strengthen the requirements for everyone to have health insurance” — a law to dump even higher penalties on young, healthy people choosing not to enroll in the ACA’s scheme to have them subsidize the “significant and costly medical issues” of those on ACA insurance
  3. “to bolster subsidies” — to redirect even more money within the U.S. into a glaringly obvious money losing system.

If those are tweaks, beware when they start taking about adjustments.

This system is so fantastic, though, that the N&O editorial board concludes today that “The next president, and the next Congress, must find the solution.”