Letter: A Matter of Name-Calling

To the Editor:

Your Aug. 25 editorial, “Navigating Obamacare” raised some important questions. The answers, of course, will be revealed by our collective future behavior.

Meanwhile, I wonder what value there is in your having chosen to use the nickname “Obamacare” in your headline when, as noted in your third paragraph, the law is titled the 2010 Affordable Care Act. Of course the name of the law speaks to its designers’ intentions, not its results, which won’t be revealed for some time.

There are those who would rather this debate be about political or economic theory, or personality, or perhaps even race, though that will be coded rather than spoken outright. They refer to it by the name of the president who oversaw its development and directed its passage in Congress, using the diversionary tactic of directing the public’s eye away from the various problems and potential solutions within the fiasco that is our current health care system in favor of generic personality-bashing. Not exactly solution-oriented, but it pays well, especially in fringe benefits and second-career enhancement. And almost all its practitioners will be re-elected.

It’s worth noting that we pay the price.

President Obama himself embraced the nickname “Obamacare” during the 2012 presidential campaign, likely in an attempt diffuse the intended slur and to redirect voters’ attention to the content of the law and the problems it attempts to address, rather than the various playground tactics of the other camp.

As I say, the Valley News editorial addressed substantive issues. What’s with the headline?

Chris Weinmann



Editorial: Navigating Obamacare

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

If you build it, they will come. So goes an expression forever linked to a movie about a field of dreams and old-time baseball. But what if you’re talking about something less magical but more momentous, like a new marketplace to sell affordable health insurance over the Internet in a bid to improve U.S. health care? Then the answer isn’t …