Is “Obamacare” pejorative?

Via Megan McArdle, and James Joyner defend their use of Obamacare, which I gather some call “wingnut terminology.”

Interesting. I use the term and I have never meant to demean the program. I think it is a good American-style private/public approach to a real public health problem. I think the program has a good chance of achieving at least one of its key goals, universal coverage. Its model, Massachusetts, recently announced that 98% of residents have health insurance. I worry that it could die the death of a thousand self-inflicted paper cuts if politicians back away from the cost controls it will put into place, as they recently did with the “doc fix.”

The fact that I like the program is the reason I call it Obamacare. I thought politicians want to have things named after them. Don’t you think FDR would have loved to call Social Security a Roosevelt pension? Would Johnson have balked at the term LBJ-care?

Instead, we name highways after our favorite politicians, which has never made sense to me. Then the politicians’ name is only used in vain: “I got stuck on the *$&##@* Kennedy,” or “I crawled across the f@##@&* George Washington Bridge.” And I’ve never forgiven Eisenhower for the Chicago expressway bearing his name.

We should name highways after politicians we hate. Directions like “Take the Aaron Burr through the Nixon Tunnel” give the driver an idea of what he’s in for.



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