Americans are more opposed to Obamacare than the Affordable Care Act — even though both labels refer to the exact same set of laws.
Outside of it being a general continuation of Republican efforts to smear Hillary Clinton’s healthcare initiative in the ’90s, the origin of the word “Obamacare” is difficult to discern.
According to a correction on Elspeth Reeve’s attempt to trace its etymology in The Atlantic, Mitt Romney used it first, in a speech disparaging the Affordable Care Act on March 30, 2007.
Earlier iterations exist, including “Obama Care,” “Obama-care,” and “Obama-Care,” but it wasn’t until it’d been compounded into a single word that it became a catch-all for acceptably irrational conservative fears like “death panels” and “compulsory abortion.”
While these differences may appear, on their surface, to lack distinction, a recent CNBC poll demonstrates that what a massive piece of social legislation like this one is called can have a significant impact on its acceptance.
CNBC pollsters couched the questions asked of half the respondents in terms of Obamacare, but asked the other half about the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The terms refer, of course, to the same constellation of bills and regulations Obama hopes will secure his legacy.
Obamacare, somewhat surprisingly, is more popular than Affordable Care Act, clocking in at 29 percent public approval to the ACA’s 22. But when opposition to these selfsame legislative artifices is measured, a stark contrast emerges: almost 50 percent of Americans oppose Obamacare, whereas only 37 percent oppose the ACA. Moreover, nearly a third more of the respondents already on the negative spectrum indicated that they feel “Very Negative” about Obamacare.
The study did not attempt to posit why men who identified as white, and either independent or Republican, disliked Obamacare even more vehemently than other opponents.
[Image via AFP]
Scott Eric Kaufman is the proprietor of the AV Club's Internet Film School and, in addition to Raw Story, also writes for Lawyers, Guns & Money. He earned a Ph.D. in English Literature from the University of California, Irvine in 2008.
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