“Obamacare” sticks because it fits.
Just when you thought it couldn’t get any worse, she argues that “Obamacare” is a racially demeaning term invented by rich white men (h/t Liberty Unyielding):
Obamacare “was originally intended as derogatory,” a term that was “meant to shame, to divide, and to demean.” It was “conceived of by wealthy white men who needed to put themselves above and apart from a black man, to render him inferior and unequal, and to diminish his accomplishments.”
Actually, “Obamacare” as a term was concieved by a woman who used it to compare to other health care proposals, to which she also appended the term “care” to the politician’s name, as The Atlantic reported in October 2011, Who Coined ‘Obamacare’?
House Democrats are blocking their Republican colleagues from using Obamacare in letters mailed on the taxpayer’s dime to voters, but who made up the term in the first place? Lots of people are asking this question, getting answers like “Certainly a republican, potentially Glenn Beck” and “I am about 80% sure it was Rush Limbaugh” and “Hillary Clinton’s campaign coined Obamacare.” Iowa Rep. Steve King claimed President Obama himself made it up. Free Republic posters want to claim credit. Lots of liberals suspect an insidious plot by Fox News. But the answer appears to be: a lobbyist.
Jeanne Schulte Scott argued for the trade journal Healthcare Financial Management in March 2007 that then-President Bush had “put all his eggs into his ‘privatization’ basket” in his 2007 State of the Union address; nevertheless, he made health care the “issue du jour” for the 2008 presidential race. “Health care is hot!” she wrote, and then made a prediction that seems so quaint given all that’s passed in the last four-and-a-half years:
The many would-be candidates for president in 2008 are falling over themselves offering their own proposals. We will soon see a “Giuliani-care” and “Obama-care” to go along with “McCain-care,” “Edwards-care,” and a totally revamped and remodeled “Hillary-care” from the 1990s.
The term took off from there, The Atlantic continued:
Headline writers squeezed for space gave the term momentum since “Obamacare” is so much shorter than “Obama’s health care overhaul” or “Obama’s health care bill.” On May 30, 2007, The Hotline headlined a roundup of news about then-candidate Obama announcing his health care proposal “Obama: Here’s Obamacare.” A few days later, Jason Horowitz‘s story for the June 6 New York Observer (which also post dates its issues) was titled, “Stat! Clinton Readies Scalpel for Obamacare.” Neither contains the term in the body of the story, so it was likely the work of an editor.
Timothy Noah wrote a series for Slate about “the health care primary,” beginning June 19 with “Obamacare: Better Than It Looks.” Stories on “Edwardscare: A Trojan Horse,” “Hillarycare II: New and Improved,” and “McCaincare: Provocative but Vague” followed.
Mitt Romney began using the term later in 2007, as a contrast to “Romneycare,” clearly focused on policy differences, not race, ‘Obamacare’: The word that defined the health care debate:
It first appeared on the campaign trail in May of that year, when Romney distinguished his effort on health reforms as governor of Massachusetts.
“In my state, I worked on health care for some time. We had half a million people without insurance, and I said, ‘How can we get those people insured without raising taxes and without having government take over heath care,’” he said in Des Moines, Iowa, advocating for states to find free market solutions.
“And let me tell you, if we don’t do it, the Democrats will. If the Democrats do it, it will be socialized medicine; it’ll be government-managed care. It’ll be what’s known as Hillarycare or Barack Obamacare, or whatever you want to call it.”
On the campaign trail since, he has defended himself from charges of similarities between “Romneycare” and “Obamacare” — including a critique from a rival presidential candidate that the two amount to “Obamneycare.”
Even the world’s most famous selfie-artist tried to claim credit, How Anthony Weiner Coined The Term ‘Obamacare’. Weiner may be a “rich white man,” but I doubt he was one of the rich white men to whom Harris-Perry was referring.
The evidence simply isn’t there that “Obamacare” as a term had a racially perjorative genesis, ‘Obamacare’: Who Invented The Word? (VIDEO)
(Video page will open in a separate window)
The phrase caught on so much that Obama and Democrats have adopted its use, although not consistently, President Obama embraces ‘Obamacare’ label. But why?
Obamacare sticks because it fits. It is the incarnation of Obama in the policy world.
If it was not racially divisive to use the terms Hillarycare and Romneycare, why so Obamacare?
Maybe because the race card is the only remaining defense of Obamacare.
(Featured image source: HuffPo/AOL video)