Capital Briefs

Politico: Obamacare vs. ACA: What’s in a name?

From POLITICO:

President Barack Obama and loyal Democrats once embraced the term Obamacare to sell the American people on health care reform.

Not anymore.

With the president’s approval ratings at record lows, a broken website and Obama under fire for his pledge that people could keep their plans, the “Affordable Care Act” has returned.

The president didn’t say “Obamacare” once during his nearly hourlong news conference last week, while he referred to the “Affordable Care Act” a dozen times. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi went so far as to correct David Gregory on “Meet the Press” Sunday on the proper terminology. And White House talking points distributed to Democrats and obtained by POLITICO repeatedly refer to the Affordable Care Act in suggested sound bites, not Obamacare.

Calling it the Affordable Care Act has advantages for Democrats seeking to defend health care reform while still criticizing the bungled White House rollout. The phrase polls better than Obamacare — and people have responded more positively to the law’s benefits when they haven’t been told they come from Obamacare.

Now, the phrase is vanishing from official use. White House website posts in July (“Obamacare in Three Words: Saving People Money”) and late September (“What Obamacare Means for You”) called the health care law the O-word. But now HealthCare.gov is almost entirely scrubbed of “Obamacare” and the law is called the Affordable Care Act in nearly every instance. Health insurance exchanges run by states don’t use the term Obamacare at all.

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