Sheila Jackson-Lee, Jan Schakowsky, and David Axelrod have all done an about-turn on merits of the term “Obamacare” after a recent decision to allow its use in “franked” U.S. government mail.
Franking privileges, which allow mail to be sent from congressional offices as part of their “allocated spending stipend,” are restricted from being used for “personal, political, or partisan” reasons. In other words, you can’t use it to send out campaign mail. Roll Call reports:
Members can use the unofficial moniker for the Affordable Care Act in taxpayer-financed mailings, but only if it’s in the context of the title of the bill the House passed today. That measure includes the following as its Section 1: “This Act may be cited as the ‘Repeal of Obamacare Act.’”
“There is an established [Franking] Commission precedent that allows for Members to reference the titles of legislation in mass communications,” said Steve Dutton, communications director for Rep. Aaron Schock (R-Ill.), who is chairman of the commission.
“Any other use of ‘Obamacare’ still does not meet franking standards,” added Greg Abbott, Democratic spokesman for the House Administration Committee, which oversees franking regulations.
Democrats, who viewed the term “Obamacare” as perjorative objected just last year to the term’s use in franked mail. However, with the recent Supreme Court decisions they are now embracing the affiliation of the Affordable Care Act with the president. Again, from Roll Call:
“I am well aware of the fact that there are many Americans, when they hear the word ‘Obamacare,’ they think, oh, somehow it’s a takeover by the government of our freedom, our health care,” Rep.Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill.) said. “But I’m hoping that people will take another look now that the Supreme Court has declared this to be the law of the land and see what advantages there are for you, for individuals.”
“I call Obamacare Leroycare, Mariacare, Senior Citizens Sick Care, Nursing Home Care,” Rep.Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Texas) said. “That’s what it is.”
The White House was already getting into the act.
In March, David Axelrod, a top campaign adviser for Obama, sent an email to supporters proclaiming, “Hell yeah, I’m for Obamacare.”
Now that the left can more assuredly claim the success of the legislation (their definition of success, not mine), they are willing to cosy up to the term that most Americans use, and that ties the president to the legislation.DONATE
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