Wednesday, April 21, 2010

What's in a name?

I was watching the Daily Show last night.  The guest was John O'Hara, a young conservative who's written a book about the tea party movement.  Jon Stewart and he were having a discussion about the need to have actual discussions, not shouting matches and namecalling.  The phrase "Obamacare" came up, and Stewart politely told his guest that it struck him as being one of those terms that's being used in a derogatory or denigrating fashion -- wouldn't it be more intellectually honest to say "health care reform"?  After some back and forth, the guest agreed. 

Personally, I thought it would be even more honest to call the bill by its actual name, but then it hit me -- just what is the name of the recently passed health care reform legislation?  I don't think I've ever heard anyone actually use it, at least not enough times for it to register.  No doubt it was mentioned in speeches made by various politicians and at the signing ceremony, but the media seems to have ignored it.  The right wing keeps hammering away, calling it "Obamacare" (which could turn out to be a huge mistake politically if the public decides it's not that bad after all), but no one to the left of them ever corrects that phrase with the actual name of the legislation.  So I went looking.  It's the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, aka Pub. L No. 111-148, which is definitely a lot less scary sounding than "Obamacare."

And, as an aside, despite the reputation Congress has for sitting on its collective butt, that number means it's the 148th bill passed by the 111th Congress and signed into law.  Now I'm wondering just what the other 147 were. . . and I'm not sure I really want to know.


  1. think it should be called the Ted Kennedy Bill for Health Care for all.or somthing along those lines.

  2. Fuck politics, things are so screwed up anymore that there is no way to go but downhill so I see no point in fighting it. The sooner we get to the train wreck the sooner we can rebuild on something that makes more sense.

  3. Speaking of reading, I'm posting a book report in the morning. Well, it's already in Blogger and will automatically be posted at 2 AM.


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