In this clip from last night’s show, Jimmy Kimmel brings to life what surveys have told us: people really don’t know that Obamacare and the Affordable Care act are the same thing. Of course this is not scientific, but it’s incredibly depressing all the same.
How can people not know the difference? Who was president when the ACA passed? Who campaigned against the ACA and who was for it? I know that my understanding of the issue is the extreme exception to the rule because I write about healthcare every day, but it’s still hard to believe that people are this confused.
“Obamacare” is almost irresistible shorthand for journalists, but watching this video has almost persuaded me to stop using the term. I avoided it until the Obama administration embraced it last year. When the campaign started passing out “I love my Obamacare” buttons, I figured it was OK to replace the “Affordable Care Act” with “Obamacare.”
But as it turns out, Paul Keckley was right to scrupulously avoid the term. When the topic is as important as access to healthcare, shorthand that promotes confusion is unacceptable.