Once upon a time, it was considered bad manners to refer to Barack Obama’s signature legislative “achievement” as Obamacare. Then Obama himself began using the term, perhaps hoping to turn an insult into a compliment. “We passed Obamacare — yes, I like the term,” he said at a rally in Iowa last October, “because I do care, and I want to put these choices in your hands where they belong.” The White House even began selling “I ♥ Obamacare” bumper stickers and t-shirts.
Now all of a sudden the term is off-limits again. Politico writes:
With the president’s approval ratings at record lows, a broken website and Obama under fire for his pledge that people could keep their plans, the ‘Affordable Care Act’ has returned.
The president didn’t say ‘Obamacare’ once during his nearly hourlong news conference last week, while he referred to the ‘Affordable Care Act’ a dozen times. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi went so far as to correct David Gregory on ‘Meet the Press’ Sunday on the proper terminology. And White House talking points distributed to Democrats and obtained by POLITICO repeatedly refer to the Affordable Care Act in suggested sound bites, not Obamacare.
It’s understandable that the president wants to distance himself nominally from a law so toxic that members of his own party are beginning to contemplate the R-word (“repeal”) as a way of saving their own political bacon. But apparently it’s dawned on no one in the administration or Democratic Party that calling it the Affordable Care Act is replacing a put-down with a self-deprecating joke. The “care” available under the law (which itself is a misnomer, since Obamacare is a path to insurance, not care) is anything but affordable in a great many cases. Analyses of cost change show that the curve bends upward in all but 5 of the 50 U.S. states: