When I first started calling it Obamacare, the president’s popularity didn’t make it clearly pejorative. I used the word because it was convenient: more succinct than any alternative. My editors at Time picked the headline “The Fatal Flaw of Obamacare” back in August 2009. I suppose it could have said, “of the health-care bill” or “of H.R. [whatever it was]” or “of the ACA” (assuming it had been so named by then). Only “Obamacare” is both short and (as a term) comprehensible. Also, I had the precedents of ClintonCare and Romneycare on my side.
If the new health-care law eventually becomes popular and then unquestioned, as liberals hope, they’ll be the ones seeking to keep it labeled “Obamacare.”