When The Affordable Care Act, or “Obamacare,” was being debated, Democrats objected to the health care legislation being labeled as “Obamacare,” saying it was derogatory and may even carry racial undertones. Even after the law passed, Democrats like Debbie Wasserman-Schultz, who is Chairwoman of the DNC, protested, vehemently objecting on the House Floor to use of the word “Obamacare.”
“Mr. Speaker, is it a violation of the House rule wherein members are not permitted to make disparaging references to the president of the United States,” she said on February 18, 2011. “In two previous gentlemen’s statements on the amendment, both of them referred to the Affordable Care Act, which is the accurate title of the health reform law, as ‘Obamacare.'”
But after the Supreme Court upheld the individual mandate in Obamacare as a tax, Democrats embraced the term.
Immediately after the Supreme Court decision, the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee (DSCC) sent out a petition that said, “Stand Up for Obamacare!”
“Sign here right now and tell President Obama that you have his back and show your support for Obamacare,” the petition urged.
Now that the DSCC has officially taken ownership of the “Obamacare” label, it will be interesting to see how that impacts Democrats, such as Missouri’s Claire McCaskill and Montana’s Jon Tester, who are in extremely tough Senate reelection battles in their respective states.
Tester and McCaskill both announced last week that they would not be attending the Democratic National Convention in North Carolina.
The DSCC may just have put the “Obamacare” label around their necks as an albatross.