Last night I went on WGN-CLTV's Politics Tonight to discuss ObamaCare.
Host Paul Lisnek brought up an interesting question: isn’t calling the recent federal health care bill “ObamaCare” partisan or, as Jon Stewart once asked me, offensive?
I don't believe it is partisan at all.
For one, ObamaCare is simply what most people call this law. Most people don’t know it by “The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.” Calling it that or some version of that, like “the Affordable Health Care Act” as Jim did isn’t a balanced clarification, it is premeditated rebranding. Most citizens and most pundits call it ObamaCare. Calling it by its technical name is confusing for viewers, plain and simple.
Case in point from the other side of the aisle: when you think of the tax cuts that first came from the last guy in the White House, what do you hear pundits calling it – on both sides of the aisle? The Bush tax cuts. Nobody calls them by their official legislative name. I should say names, as they were codified in two separate bills during Bush’s tenure: the Economic Growth and Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2001 and the Jobs and Growth Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2003. That’s a mouthful.
Second, the technical name is ridiculous. Like many bills and laws – Republican or Democrat – this law’s name doesn’t accurately reflect what it does. Why talk about bills or laws on the terms Beltway wordsmiths set? ObamaCare doesn’t protect patients or make health care more affordable. It does just the opposite.
Perhaps most importantly, if this bill is so great and this president is so proud of how great it is, why wouldn’t the president, his supporters, and supporters of this bill want to call it ObamaCare?