CNS News reported Wednesday that President Barack Obama “told a gathering of corporate executives Tuesday he’s confident that his model of health care will work in the end, but he said he’s going to have to “re-brand” it to sell it to a skeptical public.”
He didn’t use the word “Obamacare” once on Tuesday in talking about his health care law, but he mentioned the “Affordable Care Act” seven times.
On Tuesday, Politico’s Reid J. Epstein reported that “the president didn’t say ‘Obamacare’ once during his nearly hour-long 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.
“Now,” Epstein has noticed, “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.
The thing is, Obama and his fellow Democrats have been writhing in a love-hate relationship with “the O-word” for years.
On Feb. 11, 2011, The Hill reported that — as House Republicans and Democrats debated over whether or not to defund the president’s signature health care law — Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz took offense when two Republicans referred to the legislation as “Obamacare.”
That is a disparaging reference to the president of the United States; it is meant as a disparaging reference to the president of the United States, and it is clearly in violation of the House rules against that.
On Oct. 27, 2011, Jonathan Strong reported for Roll Call that congressional Democrats were “vetoing use of the word ‘Obamacare’ in taxpayer-financed mass mailings” ahead of the 2012 elections, saying it violated “rules against using the franking privilege for “personal, partisan or political reasons.”
According to Senate.gov, the “franking privilege” — adopted by the American Continental Congress in 1775 and written into law by the First Congress in 1789 — grants elected officials the right to send mail through the postal system for free, simply by signing their name where a postage stamp would normally be placed.
However, the complaint that the use of the word “Obamacare” violated “rules against using the franking privilege” for “personal, partisan or political reasons” was summarily contradicted when Obama and other Democrats began “embracing” the term “Obamacare” in an effort to use the law for their own political advantage.
The Hill reported Oct. 6, 2011 that Obama was “embracing the term ‘Obamacare’ on the campaign stump, attempting to turn the tables on critics who use it in a derogatory way.”
“They call it Obamacare?” Obama told supporters at a St. Louis fundraiser. “I do care! You should care, too.”
“Folks go around saying Obamacare,” Obama told an audience in Dallas earlier that day. “That’s right — I care.”
“I have no problem with people saying Obama cares,” he said in Minnesota. “I do care.”
The Hill added that Michigan Democratic Rep. John Conyers – the second most senior Democrat in the House” had “been urging Democrats to embrace the term for months, even taken to handing out buttons with the words ‘I [heart] ObamaCare’ as part of his campaign to rehabilitate the moniker.”
During the Oct. 3, 2012 presidential debate — as Republican challenger Mitt Romney attacked the health care law and vowed to repeal the measure — he apologized for referring to the president’s legislation as “Obamacare.”
I apologize, Mr. President. I use that term with all respect, by the way.
“I like it,” Obama responded, adding that he had “become fond of this term, ‘Obamacare.’”
On March 23, 2012, MSNBC reported that David Axelrod sent an email to supporters “with a subject line that read, “I like Obamacare.”
“I like Obamacare,” the letter read. “I’m proud of it – and you should be, too.”
Here’s why: Because it works. So if you’re with me, say it: “I like Obamacare.”
“There’s been a lot of things said,” Obama told the audience during his Sept. 26 speech, Prince George’s Community College in Maryland, “a lot of misinformation, a lot of confusion.”
Indeed. And as Examiner outlined Sunday, a lot of the “misinformation” – particularly the repeated promises that Americans who “like” their doctors and their health care plans” would be able to “keep” them — and the “confusion” created by frequent changes and postponements of his law’s requirements and deadlines has been coming directly from him and from members of his administration.
On Tuesday, S.A. Miller reported for The New York Post that “Obama got a little mixed up Monday night” – “or suffered a slip of wishful thinking” – telling Organizing For Action supporters that “over 100 million Americans” had “successfully” enrolled in Obamacare in “the first month” – “overshooting the mark by about 99.9 million.”
In reality, just 26,794 people signed up in the first month since the glitch-riddled federal Web site covering 36 states opened for business.
Another 79,000 Americans enrolled on the online marketplaces run by the other 14 states and Washington, D.C., according to enrollment data release last week by the administration.
All told, about 100,000 people signed up in the first month.
As Breitbart reported Tuesday, “Democrats are no longer calling the Affordable Care Act “Obamacare” because it polls so badly.”
Wednesday’s CBS News poll revealed that President Barack Obama’s approval rating has plummeted to 37 percent, a significant nine-point drop from the 46 percent rating in the October 22 CBS News survey.
His disapproval rating – 57 percent — “is at the highest CBS News Polls have indicated.”
Only 31 percent of Americans now approve of Obamacare, indicating a drop of 12 points since last month. It’s the lowest number recorded by CBS News Polls for the favorability of the law. A staggering 61 percent disapprove of the law.
The Nov. 12 Quinnipiac survey showed Obama’s approval rating had plummeted to 39 percent, “his lowest approval rating in any Quinnipiac University national poll since he became president.” The majority — 54 percent — expressed disapproval of his job performance as president.
“For the first time,” Quinnipiac noted, “American voters say 52 – 44 percent that Obama is not honest and trustworthy.”
According to Tim Malloy, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute, “President Obama’s misstatement, ‘If you like your health plan, you can keep it,’ left a bad taste with a lot of people.”
But rather than a “misstatement,” 46 percent of Quinnipiac’s respondents said they believe Obama “knowingly deceived” them.
The Nov. 13 Fox News poll showed that Obama’s approval rating had fallen to 40 percent and his disapproval rating had climbed to 55 percent and that 50 percent believe Obama “knowingly lied.”
When it comes to Obamacare – while 42 percent said “we should keep trying to fix it” — 46 percent said “we should throw it out and start over.”
Only 10 percent said “we should leave it alone.”
According to Wednesday’s Real Clear Politics average of seven polls, Obama’s approval rating stood at a 15 percent deficit.
The Real Clear Politics average of six polls shows approval of Obamacare at a deficit of 17.2 percent.
“So that’s what’s going to happen with the Affordable Care Act,” Obama predicted during his Sept. 26 speech. “And once it’s working really well, I guarantee you they will not call it Obamacare.”
On Nov. 10 — one year and nine months after complaining that Obamacare was a “disparaging reference to the president of the United States” and trying to ban the use of the word on the House floor — Wasserman Schultz told CNN’s “State of the Union” host Candy Crowley that “Democratic candidates will be able to run on Obamacare as an advantage leading into the 2014 election.”
Now that it isn’t working, it’s the Democrats and Obama himself who refuse to “call it Obamacare.”