Plagued by controversy, mistrust, and a dysfunctional website, the Obama administration and its supporters are trying to divorce themselves from the moniker “Obamacare” in reference to the health-care law after they had embraced it.
Not only had the Obama campaign printed merchandise with the term on it in recent years, but the president recently quipped that former critics of the law would stop calling it “Obamacare” after seeing its success and popularity.
“Here is a prediction for you: A few years from now, when people are using this to get coverage and everybody is feeling pretty good about all the choices and competition that they’ve got, there are going to be a whole bunch of folks who say, ‘Yes, I always thought this provision was excellent. I voted for that thing,’” he told a Maryland audience just days before the October 1 launch. “You watch. It will not be called ‘Obamacare.’”
Politico notes that the word is disappearing from the White House and HealthCare.gov websites as well as administrative and Democratic congressional documents, where the preferred term seems to have shifted back to the “Affordable Care Act.” In talking points prepared for appearances on last Sunday’s political talk shows, documents largely used “Affordable Care Act.” This was perhaps most evident when Nancy Pelosi corrected Meet the Press’s David Gregory for saying “Obamacare” in reference to the law.
The news source also reports that the president didn’t use “Obamacare” in his press conference on Friday or in a call with Organizing for Action volunteers on Monday.
At least one Democratic strategist thinks such efforts are self-defeating.
“Any Democrat who thinks that they can run away from this bill from playing word games is sadly mistaken,” he said. “Flaws and all, it’s a great bill and it should be defended and, besides, we now own it.”