One of the strangest things I’ve seen in this strange week is people making fun of Donald Trump for complaining that “Obamacare” will hurt his company’s employees.
I haven’t gotten the impression that he spends his days and nights curled up with printouts of Health Affairs.
But, at the same time, the people mocking Trump for saying that Obamacare will hurt his employees are using that word in what I think is a misleading way, just because they enjoy making fun of him.
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I think calling the law “Obamacare” is wrong, to begin with, because we never call Medicare or Medicaid “Johnsoncare,” or the Americans with Disabilities Act “Bushfair.”
And, if anyone’s name should be on the ACA, then, for good or for ill, it probably should be Harry Reid. He might have been the only elected official who had much of a chance to look at the final version of the text before the Senate voted on it.
But, aside from that, one of the serious problems with use of the term “Obamacare” is that it’s often hard to figure out what people think they’re talking about when they use the term.
Do they think they mean the two-law Affordable Care Act package consisting of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 and the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010, including the tanning salon tax provision, and the various preventive health funding measures? If so, are they really burning mad about the ACA money spent on fighting flu?
Do they think they only mean the Affordable Care Act coverage expansion provisions, including Medicaid expansion?
Do they think “Obamacare” refers solely to the ACA public exchange system and exchange coverage?