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No, Melissa Harris-Perry, “Obamacare” was not conceived by rich white men

No, Melissa Harris-Perry, “Obamacare” was not conceived by rich white men

“Obamacare” sticks because it fits.

Melissa Harris-Perry once appeared in an MSBNC promo arguing that “We have to break through our kind of private idea that kids belong to their parents.” She also wore tampon earrings on air:

Melissa Harris-Perry Tampon Earrings

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)


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I don’t care who invented it. “What difference, at this point, does it make?”

It’s a distraction.

    Immolate in reply to moonstone716. | December 9, 2013 at 9:47 am

    Obamacare is a distration. It’s a distraction from economic recovery.

      Not A Member of Any Organized Political in reply to Immolate. | December 9, 2013 at 11:06 pm

      LOL Thank ou Immolate for the best chuckle I’ve had all day!!!!!

      RE: the subject of the article….Gee, the Dumb just get Dumber…

      Seriously, they exhibit 100%, all the signs of CULT MEMBERS!

      Obama – another Jonestown just waiting to swill the Kook-Aid.

      LynX Eye in reply to Immolate. | December 10, 2013 at 6:42 pm

      Actually, ObamaScare is a deterrent to economic improvement, which enervates and slows it considerably. All those people getting their hours cut and even losing their jobs entirely to ObamaScare CAN’T be a good thing, for the economy or anything else.

Republicans and their distant cousins the conservatives have done their part in reinforcing the use of the term “Obamacare”, but it isn’t because of racism. It is because it was crystal clear from the start that this legislation would be a hairball of apololyptic proportions, and they want to make sure that everyone, even Obama’s most hardened constituency, never forgets who to blame for it.

When are liberals going to overcome their insecurities about their leader’s skin color? I mean, he’s half white. They could cling to that if it makes them feel better.

Just another affirmative action, lighter- than- a- brown- bag, douche masquerading as an intelligent human and fooling no one.

The “rich white man” meme is a cherished leftist trope. I’ve dealt with it for years with my leftist family. Everything wrong in society is because of “fat rich white men” (the “fat” part is important, too). The obtrusive truth of Obama’s failures has forced the issue into absurd distortions of reality — that Obama is not an authentic progressive but rather corporatist member of the “fat rich white men’s club.” They get angry when you try to pin Obama’s various train wrecks on their own ideology; that just won’t pass. The collapse of their meme is intolerable. If Obama is an actual Leftist, then his failures mean taking responsibility and dealing with the end of the grand illusion.

It’s true what they used to say in those commercials…

“A mind is a terrible thing to waste”.

Just think; this poor moonbat could have been trained to do something useful, instead of being warped into this teeming mass of racial crazy.

    Juba Doobai! in reply to Ragspierre. | December 10, 2013 at 6:38 am

    For the most part, she is the face of black America.

    Barack Obama has done America a favor by being elected. He has unwittingly ripped apart the mask behind which black America hides and revealed the seething mass of racism percolating underneath it. No matter what Obama does, no matter how despicable or harmful to America, there will always be a segment of the black population willing to cover for him and say the vilest things to prevent him from looking bad.

    The irony of it is that as black America has become invested in the Democrat party, the racism that is heart, soul, and core of that part has spread through the community. Black America has become that which it fled.

She’s trying to protect the Obama legacy by shaming people into dropping his name from the one piece of legislation certain to destroy his legacy.

    Observer in reply to Henry Hawkins. | December 9, 2013 at 1:00 pm

    Yes, if Obamacare was successful and popular, she’d be insisting that people call it Obamacare. It’s only because the scheme is such a massive and epic failure that she finds it “demeaning” and “divisive” to refer to it as Obamacare.

    I wish someone would ask her who the original big-government medical program, Medicare, was meant to demean.

Nevermind word games. Under any other name, Obamacare (and all of Obama’s other initiatives and foreign schemes) would still stink.

Dick Cheny asks the obvious question that no one else has dared to ask out loud (for fear of attack by the DOJ, IRS, NSA, EPA, ATF, OSHA, TSA or HSA):If you can’t build a website, what the heck are you doing messing with the US health care system?

    The answer is obvious. The website is the result of our trusting black president being being horns waggled by a rich Canadian white man. (Racism is everywhere.) I don’t know if he was a fat, white man or not.

      rabidfox in reply to G8orz. | December 10, 2013 at 1:20 am

      Not “horn swaggled” at all. HE didn’t need to give the interpretation of the ACA over to the IRS, HE didn’t need to give over the development of the web site to a person known to have flubbed each and EVERY IT initiative she’s ever been involved with and HE didn’t need to ignore the program until it blew up in his face. Now he wants to ‘pivot’ to so-called income inequality to try to distract from the mess he’s created and sponsored. OBAMACARE — wear it around you neck like a tire necklace Mr. President. It belongs to you.

And she’s doing it by dividing us by our skin color. What a racist bitch.

Dick Cheny asks the obvious (that no one else has dared to ask because of fear of attack by the IRS, DOJ, FBI, NSA, EPA, ATF, OSHA, HSA or TSA): If you can’t build a website, what the heck are you doing messing with the US health care system?

Twice, I’ve entered a comment that did not appear. Have I been banned?

She is the youngest of five children. Her black father, William M. Harris Sr., was dean of Afro-American affairs at the University of Virginia, and her white mother, Diana Gray. Why do people hate half of themselves ? I wonder if she hates her mother like she hates white people.

    Radegunda in reply to Dannytejas. | December 9, 2013 at 12:31 pm

    Awhile back, I read about Halle Berry choosing to inculcate a “black” identity in her daughter, who has three white grandparents and one black. That seems to indicate that Ms. Berry has found a “black” identity to be more of an advantage than a handicap.

[…] Insurrection has a nice post tracking the origins of the word “ObamaCare,” including a claim from none other than Anthony Weiner that he coined the term himself. Which, if […]

I don’t believe ACA should be called “ObamaCare”.

ObamaDoesn’tCare how much it costs .. is more correct.

She could call it the Affordable Care Act, but people would laugh.

    We could all start referring to it that way, but with a qualifying “so called” before it, or flashing the scare quotes symbol when using the phrase. That might get the message across with a well-deserved measure of snark.

HillaryCare, RomneyCare, ObamaCare, who cares? It’s akin to tagging “-gate” to the backside of the scandal du jour (which is beyond stale). The human tongue is lazy and will find a more efficient way to communicate. That’s why Acadians are Cajuns. It’s way past time to start school lefties when they display their ignorance of history, economics, human behavior, science, and other subjects not taught in their [whatever] Studies courses.

Personally, I shorten it even further to O-Care, which can be pronounced either as “Oh-Care” or as “Zero-Care.”

Once it is in effect, zero is the amount of care you will receive.

Also, the degree to which the law was concerned about care is zero — the law is not about care, it is about control.

Maybe Melissa Harris-Perry-Kari is referring to Ezekiel Emanuel, an example of a white someone who would ‘PR’ “Obamacare” onto the foreheads of the unsuspecting.

And don’t forget, “If you want to pay more for your doctor, you can.”

    “… ‘PR’ “Obamacare” onto the foreheads …”

    Perhaps, Ezekiel Emanuel is “on the foreskin of PR.”

      Miles in reply to Neo. | December 9, 2013 at 12:30 pm

      I think Zeke’s open arrogance should be spread as far and wide as possible.

      He’s a perfect example for Republicans to use for political gain.

It remains to be seen whether this is part of a larger Democrat effort, that this may be a trial balloon, but Harris-Perry is first trying to separate the name Obama from Obamacare, using putative shame of racism to do it, and if successful the next step is to pin Obamacare on somebody else: ‘congress’ as a whole, vague ‘rich white men’, maybe on Romney, on George Bush, doesn’t matter, whatever sticks. The underlying implication is that Obama’s second term is effectively over, time to lipstick the legacy.

legacyrepublican | December 9, 2013 at 12:03 pm

I would add even more achievements …

Four dead Americans in Bengazhi including our ambassador, you got it — Obamacare

NSA spying on everyone, including Americans, you got it — Obamacare

The IRS targeting conservative groups, you got it — Obamacare

Wasting millions on Solyndra, you got it — Obamacare

Getting the Census to cook the job numbers so he could get re-elected, you got it — Obamacare

Forcing their way into a reporter’s home and confiscating her files with names of her confidential sources, you got it — Obamacare

Listening to reporter’s phone calls, you got it — Obamacare

Fast and Furious, you got it — Obamacare

JimMtnViewCaUSA | December 9, 2013 at 12:06 pm

In the presidential debates, didn’t Romney ask if it was OK to call it ObamaCare?
Obama said no problem. He seemed pretty calm about it.

Am I wrong?

    That was then, this is now.
    Since 1 October, when the Zerocare website crashed & burned and people began to learn their could NOT necessarily keep their doctors, or insurance policies, (some of) the admirers of The Zero are in damage control mode.

    Others, like ‘Zeke, are just arrogantly proud of it all.

    Henry Hawkins in reply to JimMtnViewCaUSA. | December 9, 2013 at 12:37 pm

    WHAT. Romney called Obama a n****r to his face on national TV????

What racist coined the term “Reaganomics”?

If the term “Obamacare” were not being used, Harris-Perry would be on TV, syringe earrings dangling from her ears, crying that it was because of racism that Obama’s name wasn’t attached to the law.

The Pathognomonic Abominable Crap Act.
Shorter name: A Crap Act.
Informally: Obamacrap.
On the street: Shit.

Well to be fair, Obamacare is a huge disaster….. So you now…. it should tarnish his legacy

[…] A. Jacobson of Legal Insurrection delved deeper, citing a piece from the Atlantic that read in […]

In spite of all of his chartable work with Habitat for Humanity, Jimmy Carter will be the next rich white man to be labeled a bigot. He will be bashing Obama in order to second place place on the worst president list, just under Obama..

    rabidfox in reply to G8orz. | December 10, 2013 at 1:26 am

    What? Carter doesn’t have to bash Obama to keep second place on the Worst President list — Obama’s got a solid lock of first place — Carter can’t do any worse but Obama definately can.

Professor, You answer was well researched and totally demolishes Miz’s Harris-Perry attempt to inject race into the this Obamacare fiasco.
The problem I have is when is enough enough! How many times and how many ways must we continue to answer the spurious race-baiting race card charges by various people on the Left who prove by their actions that they are the true “racists” in this country. They see every thing in terms of race and are unabashed in their one sided support of everybody (but Conservatives) who are the same color they are.
It is time to stop answering these phony charges and take our cue from the “Gipper”. His only answer at this point would be a derisive laugh and he would say, “There they go again!”

She has obvious black/woman victim wanna-be issues what with her Obamacare rant and tampon earrings.

Obama Quote “Once it’s working really well, I guarantee you, they will not call it Obamacare,” Obama told a crowd in Largo, Md. Thursday. “Here is a prediction for you. A few years from now, when people are using this to get coverage, everybody is feeling good about the choices they’ve got, there are going to be a whole bunch of folks that will say, yeah, yeah, I always thought this provision was excellent. I voted for that thing. You watch. It will not be called Obamacare.”

Seems he got it wrong, like he always does!

Now its the “ACA” or “The Affordable Care Act.”

To borrow a term from a young group of homies I go to see regularly in a little ‘hood called ‘The Loop’ in Minneola, Florida: Niggah Rigged. That’s exactly what the Obamacare Catastrophe is. Niggah Rigged.

When this white boy mentor/companion corrected 15-year old Jarvielle as having “JerryRigged” his glasses with some wire, he grinned and said:”No, Mistah Mikey. They be Niggah Rigged.”

Test for Racism:

You might be a racist if, after national conversations about Reaganomics, Hillarycare, and Romneycare, you think “Obamacare” has something to do with skin color.

My G-d this woman is a daft twit. And some folks wonder why PhDs get less respect these days.