Can Progressives Reclaim 'Obamacare'?

Conservatives use "Obamacare" as a slur, but a new campaign is fighting back.


It's safe to say the word "Obamacare" has a negative connotation, given how it's been thrown around on the Senate floor, in campaign videos, and during GOP debates. But a new campaign called "Thanks Obamacare!" seeks to wrest the term back from conservatives. Run by two progressive Colorado organizations, the website features a top-10 list of good things about the Affordable Care Act, along with a lively video and a handy timeline.

We mentioned back in August that Americans are forgetting what's in the new law, if they ever knew in the first place—so the more easy-to-digest information, the better. But can the term itself be salvaged? President Obama tried to reclaim the word himself on the campaign trail this summer, saying he had no problem with the word "Obamacare" standing in for the health care law. "I do care," he said. "If the other side wants to be the folks who don't care, that's fine with me." He realizes he's already associated with the word—why not address the elephant in the room?

Still, Obama knows full well that "Obamacare" dredges up negative associations for many Americans—things like "death panels" and "rationed care." The Fox News crowd is not likely to crack because of this campaign. But those on the fence could be swayed, or at the very least, learn how the law will affect their lives.