Top House Dem regrets using 'Obamacare' to describe health care law
December 3rd, 2013
12:48 PM ET
5 months ago

Top House Dem regrets using 'Obamacare' to describe health care law

Washington (CNN) – As the White House begins a series of events over the next few weeks to highlight the benefits of the new health care law, the number two House Democrat said the President's signature domestic achievement doesn't need to be rebranded, but he regrets referring to the Affordable Care Act as "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," Rep. Steny Hoyer, D-Maryland, told reporters on Tuesday.

Hoyer argued the substance of the law will prove valuable, but there still needs to be improvement in the process to get people enrolled, saying, "the brand is OK, it's the process of getting to the brand that isn't OK." He added proponents should emphasize the word "Affordable" in the title of the law's more official name–the Affordable Care Act.

'Obamacare': The word that defined the health care debate

While the term "Obamacare" started out as a disparaging term, used mostly by Republicans, the President began to embrace it last year when he was running for re-election, saying he likes it because he does "care."

The President and the White House, however, have rarely used the word since the rocky rollout of HealthCare.gov on October 1.

In fact, a recent poll found that more people opposed the federal law when it was referred to as "Obamacare" than when it was referred to as the "Affordable Care Act."

Poll: 'Obamacare' vs. 'Affordable Care Act'

White House officials briefed House Democrats on Tuesday morning, and addressed concerns that users are having trouble on the back end of the enrollment process – so-called "834" issues that fail to transmit information to health insurers, but Hoyer told reporters the two top Administration officials "believe that is very substantially improved."


Filed under: Congress • Obamacare • Steny Hoyer
soundoff (27 Responses)
  1. barryinlasvegas

    It is what it is Obamacare. The President said he liked the name, Democrats liked it when they were selling it. Now that it's a problem they want to go back to the name it is not "Affordable."

    The other name for this is what insurance company's call Obamacare – Medicaid Lite.

    December 3, 2013 01:02 pm at 1:02 pm |
  2. shorething

    It is ironic how it is called Obamacare and Obama really just does not care at all.

    December 3, 2013 01:02 pm at 1:02 pm |
  3. Donna

    "I wish I hadn't' called it Obamacare before because that has politicized it and has been used by Republicans as a pejorative term," Rep Steny Hoyer, D-Maryland, told reporters on Tuesday.
    --–

    Wake up clueless Democrats. Now Obamacare is a pejorative term to a large number of Americans, especially those having their healthcare coverage cancelled. And when millions more have it happen, well, just enjoy it. You all lied very well for years and will now get what you deserve.

    December 3, 2013 01:02 pm at 1:02 pm |
  4. alison wonderland

    I have always done my best to only refer to it as ACA....or Affordable Care Act...for years...because it IS the correct name...and the GOPs started "Obamacare" as a derogatory term...but the POTUS himself has referred to it as O-care...so I guess I'm fighting a losing battle!

    December 3, 2013 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
  5. canniwander

    Dems should embrace it, or "own" it. Calling it Obamacare does exactly that. A generation from now, all that Americans will remember is that the Repubs did not want them to have healthcare and this Obama fella did. When it comes down to it, Rs wanted a less healthy nation and the Ds wanted a more healthy nation. Not really difficult to pick a side in that fight. I do kind of wish it wouldn't have been so predictable though.

    December 3, 2013 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  6. just asking

    but obama said he like it being called obamacare... now he and the democrats want to run away from the name? i wonder why? could it be for the same reason ford ran away from the name edsel?

    isn't it funny how the democrats constantly want to try and hide their disasters by simply renaming them? con men for sure.

    December 3, 2013 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  7. Tommy G

    Well if they are going to rename it then they need to rename it to what it is....

    "The You Lose Your Healthcare, Lose Your Doctor, Lose Your Hospital, Sky Rocketing Premium, High Deductible, Low Care Act"

    There, problem solved and the Democrats will be telling the truth for the first time in their life.

    December 3, 2013 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  8. much thunder..little rain

    affordable care act name was not much better ...the object of the bill was for every american to have choices ..another poor job of planning

    December 3, 2013 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  9. Rudy NYC

    "I wish I hadn't' called it Obamacare before because that has politicized it and has been used by Republicans as a pejorative term,"
    -----------------------
    I've been saying that from the start. No personal offense, dude. But you'd have to be severely naive not to have figured that out at the time. You could have used the misnomer to your advantage, by pointing out the differences between the fictional "Obamacare" and the actual "Affordable Care Act." Sorry, you forfeited that opportunity, dude. It's gone for good.

    December 3, 2013 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
  10. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA -aka- Take Back The House -aka- No Redemption Votes

    The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.

    December 3, 2013 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  11. Thomas

    Why don't we call it Rick PerryCare , or Ted CruzCare , or Randy PaulCare , or Louie GohmertCare , or BushCare , RomneyCare ?

    Why , because they don't CARE !

    December 3, 2013 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
  12. thinking outside the box

    I will still call it by its rightful name, Republicancare. Because it came about from policy suggestions originating by the Republicans. There are items that the Democrats added like having children on policies until 26. But at its core it is Republican of origin and concept.

    December 3, 2013 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  13. A True Conservative

    So the brand is "OK"....and we know this how? Why don't we wait until it's actually in place before we declare "mission accomplished"......or should we just trust you....PERIOD?

    December 3, 2013 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  14. Tommy G

    Dutch/Bad Newz, VA -aka- Take Back The House -aka- No Redemption Votes
    The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.
    -–

    Then explain why MILLIONS are losing their healthcare plans (hardly "patient protection") and the plans they are being sold are 2-3 times as much (hardly "affordable").

    So basically the Democrats started their lies with step one, naming the bill, and then proceeded to build on their lies every day since, with more and more lies and deceit. Well, the Ameircan people are now on to you thieves.

    December 3, 2013 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  15. Tony

    Excuse me... I must scrape some Obamacare off the bottom of my shoe. A name that will live in infamy.

    December 3, 2013 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  16. Larry

    Since day one the democrats put Obama on an intellectual pedestal. What good has this guy done before and during his presidency? The Democrats, continuing to think that Obama is some kind of God, figured putting his name on a health care act would insure its success.

    December 3, 2013 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  17. Silence DoGood

    @Larry "Since day one the democrats put Obama on an intellectual pedestal. "

    Compared to the Tea Party that advocates things like Creationism instead of science and cult-like religious government, he kinda is intellectual. No pedestal required!

    December 3, 2013 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  18. Ol' Yeller

    I'm with the Prez, baby.... When the dust has settled and the republicants finally stop their whining, crying, and lying about the ACA and it has taken it's place next to other succesful Social Programs, like Medicare and Social Security (which got the same whining crying, doomsaying lying from you know who), you can bet the republicants will NEVER refer to it as Obamacare again (in fact, knowing them, they will start taking credit for it, much like Romney tried to take credit for the auto maker baillaout once it became obvious it was a success... despite the dire predictions of such intellectual lilliputians as romney, donna, just saying/asking, and other such prophets of doom).

    December 3, 2013 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  19. Silence DoGood

    @Ol Yeller "you can bet the republicants will NEVER refer to it as Obamacare again (in fact, knowing them, they will start taking credit for it...)"

    You know it. One day it will be that ACA is evil incarnate and the work of a communist dictator, the next it will be that it was really a GOP idea after all, and the fact that they tried to stomp it to death made it stronger.

    December 3, 2013 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  20. Rudy NYC

    Larry

    Since day one the democrats put Obama on an intellectual pedestal. What good has this guy done before and during his presidency?
    ---------------------
    What has Pres. Obama done?
    1- He defeated John McCain, which has kept us *out* of at least one new war, probably two.
    2- He defeated Mitt Romney, which has probably kept us *out* another war and a double dip recession.

    December 3, 2013 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  21. CryBabies

    Steny....you built it, you promoted it and now you distance yourself from it. It looks as though its your interests , not the interests of the people you represent, are more important. You, and the likes of you, cannot go away fast enough. You accepted the "LIE" that is Obamacare, you promoted the"LIE" that is Obamacare.....wear it with pride and suffer the consequences.

    December 3, 2013 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  22. Fair is fair

    Give Obama the boot! And you know where! Send him back to his home land

    December 3, 2013 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  23. The Real Tom Paine

    -just asking

    but obama said he like it being called obamacare... now he and the democrats want to run away from the name? i wonder why? could it be for the same reason ford ran away from the name edsel?

    isn't it funny how the democrats constantly want to try and hide their disasters by simply renaming them? con men for sure.
    *****************
    As I recall, supplyside was not supposed to cause any debt, either: after 30 years of that nonsense, suddenly deficits did not matter.

    Unlike Republicans, we fix our mistakes. The GOP runs like scalded dogs from them. WMDs, anyone?

    December 3, 2013 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  24. Tony

    It does not matter what Democrats call it. Republicans will turn it into a pejorative term. Republicans will turn their own ideas into pejorative terms if Obama adopts their ideas.

    December 3, 2013 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
  25. anthony ta

    If it is good so ot is called obamacare. Why not blame on george bush like he always did

    December 3, 2013 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
1 2