It has taken two years, but finally Team Obama has embraced the opposition’s term for the Affordable Care Act: ‘Obamacare.’
Last October, the president told an audience:
They call it Obamacare. I do care, thatís right. (Applause.) The question is, why donít you care? The question is, why donít you care? You should care, too. Some of these folks making central to their campaign pledge to make sure that 30 million people donít have health insurance. What kind of inspiring message is that? (Laughter.)
But otherwise the White House has spurned the term. Last year Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz asked whether the ďdisparagingĒ term should be permitted on the House floor.
Signs that this might change can be seen on the Obama 2012 campaign website, which has embraced the still majority unpopular health care reform with numerous videos on its positive impact as well as including a big section on it in the recent 17 minute campaign video.
Then on Friday, Chief Strategist David Axelrod sent out an email to supporters announcing the full embrace as per the President’s words in October.
I like Obamacare. I’m proud of it — and you should be, too.
Here’s why: Because it works. So if you’re with me, say it: “I like Obamacare.”
Campaign manager Jim Messina’s email said:
If you’re tired of the other side throwing around that word like it’s an insult, then join me in sending a message that we’re proud of it.
His opponents have made a big deal of the Democrats being ashamed and silent on health care reform (see this video from the Republican National Committee) and The White House did not host any events highlighting the law’s two-year birthday, so the pivot appears to be to take this head on. They may also see it as useful to ‘own’ it, given how Romney has been avoiding talking about it as the reforms are so clearly based on his own in Massachusetts.
The Democrats are also keen to link ‘Obamacare’ to their push around a Republican ‘War on Women’ narrative, releasing this video which points to the elements of health care reform which remove gender provisions in insurance that make health care more expensive for all women.
Arguments are currently being heard in the Supreme court on the Affordable Care Act’s constitutionality. Most legal experts believe that it will be upheld.
Image from Campaign website