The White House said Thursday that it had not abandoned the term “Obamacare” despite widespread media acknowledgement that the President has increasingly preferred the term “Affordable Care Act” when referring to his mismanaged healthcare overhaul.
“No, I think the president has taken on that — you know, that was a label that was applied by our opponents and welcomed with open arms by this President and our allies,” White House spokesman Josh Earnest said when asked about the terms.
But POLITICO noted on Tuesday, “The president didn’t say ‘Obamacare’ once during his nearly hour-long news conference last week, while he referred to the ‘Affordable Care Act’ a dozen times.”
House Minority Leader and Obamacare cheerleader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) claimed at a recent BuzzFeed event that she never called the Affordable Care Act “Obamacare.”
“Everyone may not like Obama, but everyone loves affordable. I love them both,” she said.
Pelosi is right; a growing number of people do not like Obama. And according to the results of a recent Gallup analysis, directly tying the President’s name to the law causes a drop in public approval of the law.
Gallup used the following variations in wording to ask people how they felt about the healthcare overhaul:
1. Mentions “Affordable Care Act” and President Obama: “Next, we’d like to ask you about the Affordable Care Act, the law President Obama signed in 2010 that restructured the U.S. healthcare system. Do you generally approve or disapprove of the 2010 Affordable Care Act, signed into law by President Obama that restructured the U.S. healthcare system?”
2. Mentions neither the Affordable Care Act nor President Obama: “Next, we’d like to ask you about the 2010 healthcare law that restructured the U.S. healthcare system. Do you generally approve or disapprove of the healthcare law?”
3. Mentions only “Obamacare”: “Next, we’d like to ask you about “Obamacare,” the 2010 law that restructured the U.S. healthcare system. Do you generally approve or disapprove of Obamacare?”
4. Mentions “Affordable Care Act” only: “Next, we’d like to ask you about the Affordable Care Act, the 2010 law that restructured the U.S. healthcare system. Do you generally approve or disapprove of the Affordable Care Act?”
The polling showed that mentioning only the Affordable Care Act yields the highest support (45 percent) — on the other hand, only mentioning Obamacare yields the lowest support, at only 38 percent. Other variations of wording fell in between, showing 41 percent support for the law.
Gallup concludes: “These results suggest that the Obama administration’s decision to shift to Affordable Care Act as their label of choice and to avoid using Obamacare would appear to be a branding strategy that works in the administration’s interest. Clearly, all else being equal, the words ‘Affordable Care Act’ engender a modestly more positive reaction than the term Obamacare.”
The following video compilation created by Washington Free Beacon nicely encapsulates the President’s rhetorical evolution on Obamacare:
Meanwhile, according to NewsBusters, the President has had some help taking American minds off of the healthcare overhaul disaster his Administration orchestrated. The organization reports that NBC News has refused to produce any Obamacare-related news since Monday.
The last time ObamaCare was even mentioned on the air waves of NBC News was during Monday morning’s Today show, when White House correspondent Peter Alexander touted a “to-do list” of damage control for the President and former Obama press secretary Robert Gibbs was given a platform to spin for his former boss.
Instead, according to the organization, NBC has covered baseball, seatbelts, Michelle Obama’s biggest fashion regret, Toronto Mayor Rob Ford and a feud between former Vice President Dick Cheney’s daughters about whether gay marriage is acceptable.