Obamacare or the ACA? The Name Makes a Difference


On the day that the federal government shuttered the doors on 800,000 public sector workers the Affordable Care Act (ACA) went into effect across the nation and people could shop for health coverage on the Obamacare’s new health insurance exchanges. Love it or hate it, it is now the law of the land, yet there are some who will spare no taxpayer’s expense or effort to either repeal or defund it. The pure vitriol directed toward a law meant to bring the country into the modern age with other industrialized nations and legislate some form of universal health care has been nothing short of breathtaking. Mr. Obama’s attempt to drag the United State’s health care ranking above 37th in the world, according to the World Health Organization, has been met with such resistance that it begs the question, ‘Just why would anyone object to having an all inclusive health care system?’ It makes little or no sense. To leave those among us to die needlessly because of a lack of, what seems like, basic human rights is wrong on every level. Why then is the vehement opposition to a piece of legislation that seems not only the humane thing to do, but that which should be an inherent right, be so prevalent? I think the answer may be more obvious than most of us would like to believe is true.


In a recent poll conducted by CNBC, 812 participants were questioned about the Affordable Care Act in different ways. The first group was asked if they supported Obamacare while the second was asked if they supported the ACA. In the Obamacare group, 29% favored the legislation, 46% opposed while 12% were unaware of what it was. Within the second group, 22% supported the ACA, 37% opposed it and 30% were not aware of the law.


What can be surmised from these results? Well, firstly, one can assume that anything with the name Obama attached to it brings out people’s ire as seen by the unfavorability rating of 46%. I’m sure this comes as no surprise to any of us who have witnessed the last five years of unrelenting obstructionism from the GOP. Secondly, there is a woeful lack of knowledge of this history changing legislation as highlighted by the 30% who were not aware of the ACA. The ACA is a monumental first step towards a single payer universal health care future that will hold Obama in very good stead in history books of the future. Thirdly, some Americans have bought into the right wing spin that Obamacare will bankrupt the nation and somehow cause health care costs to skyrocket to the point of being unsustainable for most.


It is a sad day when a man tries to do what is fair and just for all citizens of his country is painted as a rigid and obtuse leader. There has never been the amount of disrespect shown to any previous President as Mr. Obama has had to bear. Why that is, is up for debate but I think we know the underlying reason. I need not put it in print. Perhaps as a society we have not come as far as we would like to believe we have. Perhaps the likes of Martin Luther King Jr., Jack and Bobbie Kennedy and Lyndon Johnson are looking down upon us and simply shaking their heads.