Hoyer Regrets Calling Affordable Care Act “Obamacare”
Amidst the national debate over the application of new health care laws, Rep. Steny Hoyer expressed regret over calling the Affordable Care Act by its divisive moniker, “Obamacare.”
“I wish I hadn’t’ called it Obamacare before because that has politicized it and has been used by Republicans as a pejorative term,” the Maryland Democrat told reporters on Tuesday. He added that “the brand is OK, it’s the process of getting to the brand that isn’t OK,” and that supporters of the bill should place emphasis on the word “Affordable.”
Hoyer, however, did not coin the term himself. Jeanne Schulte Scott originally used “Obama-care” in 2007 to describe the future of healthcare in a health industry journal. Soon after, Mitt Romney used the term in his presidential campaign. “If the Democrats do it, it will be socialized medicine,” Romney said. “It’ll be government-managed care. It’ll be what’s known as Hillarycare or Barack Obamacare, or whatever you want to call it.”
Since then, the term has been used disparagingly by those who oppose the new healthcare laws. President Obama, however, has defended the term. “I actually like the name,” he said in his 2012 campaign. “Because I do care – that’s why we fought so hard to make it happen.
Recent troubles with its implementation, however, have deterred the White House from using the “Obamacare” tag.
According to a CNBC poll, 46% of Americans asked about “Obamacare” were against the law, but only 37% opposed the law when referred to as the “Affordable Care Act.” Inversely, “Obamacare” gathered 29% approval while ACA only drew 22%. Obama’s name alone is enough to “raise the positives and the negatives,” concluded the survey.