Why I stopped refusing to call the Affordable Care Act, “Obamacare”?

September 24th, 2012

For almost three years now, I have steadfastly objected to use the phrase “Obamacare.” For starters, I never thought it was descriptively accurate. If anything, it should be called NancyCare, as speaker Pelosi was the driving force to make this bill become a law. The President–other than bribing Bart Stupak with some useless executive orders–was largely on the outside. He didn’t even campaign on an individual-mandate-based plan in 2008 (Hillary Clinton did)! The President’s real role began after the law was enacted throughout the process of the litigation.

Also, I am not too fond of naming laws after people–Ted Frank’s law. When you name a law after a person, changing it or repealing it is seen as a referendum on that person, not the merits of the law. It becomes more difficult to discuss the substance of a law when it is so closely linked to a person. This is just the case.¬†At first, the President distanced himself from the term Obamacare. However later–as it approached the Supreme Court, and he won–he embraced it.

So now, as I debate the title of my forthcoming book, and I labor over the title, I have finally decided to go with “Obamacare” in the title, rather than the “Affordable Care Act.” The latter is a tongue-twister, most people won’t know what it is, and does not flow well. The former has a number of benefits, even if I personally do not like it.

What prompted my change? This picture.

The President signed a medical student’s lab coat: “Go Obamacare”

Obamacare it is.