by Patrick Appel

Steve Benen weighs in:

I'd say Republicans started using "Obamacare" as some kind of slur as a way of undermining the president's standing. They knew they could help tear down support for health care reform, but by attaching the president's name to it, maybe they could help tear him down, too. Remember, fairly early on in the process, Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) declared, "If we're able to stop Obama on this, it will be his Waterloo."

But in time, use of the phrase evolved. The point wasn't just about the president, per se, but about convincing the public that the initiative was what Republicans said it was: a top-down, government imposed scheme. "Obamacare" is necessarily loaded to convey an idea -- that policymakers were replacing a dysfunctional mess with one in which Americans would receive their care from the president, or at a minimum, through a process the president directs.

Dish reader e-mails, which made some of the same points, here.

 

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