Former Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said the deeply unpopular Obamacare program is working but needs a name change.
“Obamacare, no question, has a very bad brand that has been driven intentionally by a lot of misinformation and a lot of paid advertising,” said Sebelius on Wednesday.
Sebelius added, “I think we may need to call it something in the future different, but it is working.”
Sebelius’s Obamacare branding advice comes on the heels of controversial comments she made last week reminiscent of Obamacare architect Jonathan Gruber’s mocking of the “stupidity of the American voter” being responsible for the Obama administration’s ability to ram the law to passage. In an interview with USA Today’s Susan Page, Sebelius said Americans’ ignorance about health insurance came as a “stunning revelation” to her.
“A lot of Americans have no idea what insurance is about, and have no idea, even if they have coverage, what it means, you know, what a deductible is, what a copay is, how to choose a network,” said Sebelius. “That has been a stunning revelation.”
Sebelius’s call for an Obamacare name change due to the brand’s unpopularity stands in contrast to comments Obama made in May when he suggested that the only thing that would spark a name change would be the future popularity of the program.
“In five years it will no longer be called Obamacare, because when something is working, they’re definitely not going to–there will be a whole renaming process similar to [Reagan National Airport]. I don’t know if it will be ‘Reagancare,’ but it will definitely be–it will be something different,” said Obama.
According to the RealClearPolitics average of polls, just 38% of Americans support Obama’s signature legislative achievement.