The Washington Post

Why did President Obama embrace ‘Obamacare’? He had to.

The White House’s recent strategic shift to fully embrace the term “Obamacare” to describe the Affordable Care Act looks more and more like a bow to political reality.

The wizards at Google — a start-up tech company you should keep an eye on — filtered through the past year in searches to find how people sought to find information about the health care law.


By November 2011, “Obamacare” had taken hold as the preferred nomenclature — Big Lebowski reference! — and its popularity as a search term has taken off since then.

Given that reality, the White House — and President Obama’s 2012 reelection team — had little choice but to try to throw their arms around the term, which has long been pushed as a pejorative by Republicans.

Owning “Obamacare” is central to reclaiming health care as an issue for Democrats in the fall or, at the very least, fighting the issue to a draw with Republicans.

Chris Cillizza writes “The Fix,” a politics blog for the Washington Post. He also covers the White House.
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