In Defense of "Obamacare"

by Jonathan Cohn | February 9, 2011

This morning on "Morning Joe," the crew was debating about the word of "Obamacare" and whether it's appropriate. As you may have noticed, opponents of law love to use it and supporters don't. And it's safe to assume those opponents don't mean it as a compliment.

It's not just that they want to tie the law, which they hate, to President Obama. It's that they want to reinforce the idea that it's something Obama, and the Democrats, crammed down the throats of the American people.

I get that. And, of course, I get what the polls are saying. This is still not a particularly popular piece of legislation. People may not want to repeal it, but they're not about to celebrate it, either. I imagine the White House and the Democrats have strategists who have run surveys on this and concluded the term is not particularly helpful.

Even so, I like the term. I think this bill will be popular someday and, in the meantime, I think it's a reminder that this administration did something that will help millions of Americans while starting to put our health care system in order. Maybe I'm wrong--I've certainly been wrong about this before--but I think that within a few years, and maybe even by 2012, association with the health care plan will be a net plus.

In fact, my only objection to the term is that it's not entirely accurate. The Affordable Care Act is also Pelosicare. And Baucuscare. And, um, Romneycare. But none of those people are president. Obama is the one who signed the bill. And that means it will always be his, first and foremost.

Source URL: http://www.newrepublic.com//blog/jonathan-cohn/83106/in-defense-obamacare