Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Why conservatives hate Obamacare, Reason #752

I can't help but think that at least part of the reason conservatives are so apoplectic about the Affordable Care Act is that the derisive name they came up with for it*—the better to mock it—now seems to be lodged in the public consciousness, but not in they way they intended.

Early reports are indicating that the hated "Obamacare" is in danger of actually accomplishing its goal of providing affordable health care for millions of people who currently lack it. This is, of course, a disaster for conservatives: don't forget that it was leading neocon Bill Kristol who famously warned his fellow right-wingers in 1993 that "Hillarycare" had to be defeated because people might like it too much.

The Clinton health care plan was defeated (thanks to the standard conservative tactic of millions of dollars in misleading TV commercials). But now it appears the Beast was only sleeping, not dead, because now it has reared its head with a new name: Obamacare.

What keeps the Right awake at night is that not only will a new government program succeed in improving the lives of many Americans, but it will—thanks to them—carry the name of the president who is anathema to everything they stand for (please draw your own conclusions about any possible racial implications).

Lyndon Johnson's Medicare program was never labeled "Johnsoncare"—back in those Cold War days, Republicans preferred the scary term "socialized medicine" (you have to wonder, when did "care" become a dirty word?). But in attempting to hang the Affordable Care Act around Obama's neck as the millstone that would surely sink him, they appear to have made a major miscalculation. Obamacare it is. And as Obamacare, it will carry the President to a secure spot in the history books. Whether the Right likes it or not.

*Historical note: the first person to have used the term "Obamacare" appears to have been … Mitt Romney, in 2007.


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