Questions Asked and Answered

By Megan McArdle

I will stop referring to it as ObamaCare when we stop calling them the Bush tax cuts for the rich.  It is an effective shorthand for a law that is otherwise unwieldy to describe.  If legislators wanted me to call it something else, they should have given it a catchy name like "Medicare", not a hypertrophied piece of propaganda like the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.  I don't know why the left considers the term particularly perjorative; it is a health care program, and it is Barack Obama's signature legislation.  Why is it supposed to be undignified to attach his name to it?  One of James' commenters says, "ObamaCare sounds like a term someone would use, hoping it fails miserably, and wanting people to remember who did it.   So it is not non-judgmental. Quite the contrary."  


Personally, I have no such lofty agenda; I just don't have a better term for it.  But surely progressives think it is going to succeed.  Shouldn't they be thrilled that the rest of us are associating Obama's name with it at every turn?

Update:  Apparently I need to make clear that I don't think there's anything wrong with "Bush tax cuts for the rich", though I get some snippy conservatives who disagree occasionally.  It's the easiest description, and everyone understand what you're talking about.  I'm not trying to trade one for the other; I'm planning to keep using both.

This article available online at:

http://www.theatlantic.com/personal/archive/2010/12/questions-asked-and-answered/68224/