Monday, August 25, 2014

Obamacare v. Affordable Care Act

Washington Post columnist E.J. Dionne writes about Arkansas Democratic Senator Mark Pryor's political advertisement that touts his vote for the "Affordable Care Act." As Dionne reports, polls show that when people hear details about the Affordable Care Act, they actually like the provisions, even if they hate "Obamacare" (yes - stupid). But, you have to call it the Affordable Care Act in order for them to "hear" anything.

Obamacare is a pejorative and malleable term. People come to it with emotional opinions. These opinions are often fixed and unmovable -- even (especially?) when they derive from a gross misunderstanding (or no understanding) of the legislation.

It is probably not a coincidence that, while Obama is highly unpopular in Arkansas, the state had the greatest reduction in uninsured residents after the implementation of the Affordable Care Act. In a rational world, that fact would probably help Obamacare supporters like Pryor. Unfortunately, we do not occupy a world where rational thought determines policy preferences.

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