Obama cites “Obamacare” to feds’ organization

Not long ago, the term “Obamacare” was a Republican and pejorative term for the Affordable Care Act, the health-care law pushed by the White House.

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But gradually, Democrats have come to embrace the term, as President Obama demonstrated during his first debate, when Mitt Romney apologized for saying it.

“I like it,” the president said.

Obama’s reelection campaign now likes it so much that the word is used in the campaign’s response to questions presented to the candidates by the National Active and Retired Federal Employees Association (NARFE).

NARFE said it sent a questionnaire to both candidates; Romney’s campaign did not answer it. On the issue of health care, the Obama campaign’s answer said:

“The Federal Employees Health Benefits Program delivers a range of affordable, quality choices to federal workers. Its success made it one of the models for Obamacare, which will establish similar state exchanges as part of a plan to make sure that everyone has access to affordable insurance. These exchanges will operate independently of the FEHBP.

“Obamacare also includes reforms that will bring down health care costs and insurance premiums for everyone, including federal employee. It promotes efforts to pay hospitals and doctors based upon the quality of their care and their success in keeping patients healthy, not for the volume of procedures they perform. Over the past three years, health care costs have grown at their lowest rates in 50 years, and insurance premium increases in 2011 were at historic lows. When Obamacare is fully implemented, experts estimate it will have lowered health insurance premiums by $2,000 per family.”

federaldiary@washpost.com

Twitter: @JoeDavidsonWP

Previous columns by Joe Davidson are available at wapo.st/JoeDavidson.

Joe Davidson writes the Federal Diary, a column about federal government and workplace issues that celebrated its 80th birthday in November 2012. Davidson previously was an assistant city editor at The Washington Post and a Washington and foreign correspondent with The Wall Street Journal, where he covered federal agencies and political campaigns.

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