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Supporters Of Health Overhaul Look To Reclaim ‘Obamacare’

Filed by KOSU News in Health.
October 26, 2011

“Thanks Obamacare.” Sounds like sarcasm, right?

Sure, opponents of the federal law overhauling health care tagged it with the “Obamacare” moniker to belittle the measure even before it had passed.

To many of them, the law is an ill-considered attempt to fix America’s health care problems with a one-size-fits-all approach that thrusts the government into the most personal of issues.

But now, two nonprofit advocacy groups, ProgressNow Colorado Education and the Colorado Consumer Health Initiative, are trying to take back “Obamacare,” as something to be proud of. They’re painting it as a positive brand in a campaign (complete with its own Twitter feed and hash tag, #thanksobamacare) that launched Monday.

The campaign highlights 10 reasons people should be thankful for the health law. Among them: allowing people younger than 26 to stay on their parents’ health insurance plans and stopping insurers from denying coverage to children with preexisting conditions (the law does the same for adults beginning in 2014).

During a Minnesota town hall meeting in August, President Obama said he kind of likes the label:

So part of the Affordable Care Act health care reform, also known as “Obamacare” — by the way, you know what? Let me tell you, I have no problem with folks saying “Obama cares.” I do care. If the other side wants to be the folks who don’t care, that’s fine with me.

The derisive use of “-care” as a suffix tacked onto a politicians name for dramatic effects is practically a tradition. And it may be tough one to overcome.

Republican candidates slapped former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney’s health overhaul law in the state with “Romneycare” and even “Obamneycare” to link it more directly with the federal law advanced by President Obama.

And then there was “Hillarycare,” named for the former first lady and current secretary of state, which was used to describe the Clinton administration’s attempt at overhauling the health care system. In the 2008 presidential primaries, the GOP candidates in trotted out “Hillarycare” to attack Romney, before anybody had even thought of Obamacare. [Copyright 2011 Kaiser Health News]

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