Hooray for Obamacare!

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The New York Times reports that even liberals are now referring to the Affordable Care Act as “Obamacare”:

Whether Democrats can change a pejorative into a positive is unclear, but after three years on the defensive, they have resigned themselves to the fact that “Obamacare” has become the popular name for the sweeping social program, and they are trying to spin it in their direction. Particularly since the Supreme Court upheld the law’s constitutionality, Mr. Obama and his allies have tried to take ownership of the term.

“The right created it and spits it out as an epithet; it has that tone, a sneering quality like they’re hanging it around his neck,” said Jeff Shesol, a former White House speechwriter under President Bill Clinton. “But it has so taken hold, it reached that level of saturation that it’s very difficult for Obama or the Democrats to escape it. So why not then try to appropriate it?”

I’ve always been fine with Obamacare as a nickname, much the same way that Reaganomics is a nickname for supply-side economics. And whether embracing it converts the term Obamacare from a pejorative into a positive depends entirely on Obamacare itself, I think. “Neoconservative” started out as a pejorative term and did just fine when neocons made it into a popular doctrine. Conversely, “welfare” used to be so plainly positive that conservatives urged other conservatives not to use the term. But that changed when conservatives made welfare itself suspect.

Likewise, if ACA eventually becomes popular, then Obamacare will be a positive term. If it fails, then it will fade away. It’s that simple.

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We didn't know what to expect when we told you we needed to raise $400,000 before our fiscal year closed on June 30, and we're thrilled to report that our incredible community of readers contributed some $415,000 to help us keep charging as hard as we can during this crazy year.

You just sent an incredible message: that quality journalism doesn't have to answer to advertisers, billionaires, or hedge funds; that newsrooms can eke out an existence thanks primarily to the generosity of its readers. That's so powerful. Especially during what's been called a "media extinction event" when those looking to make a profit from the news pull back, the Mother Jones community steps in.

The months and years ahead won't be easy. Far from it. But there's no one we'd rather face the big challenges with than you, our committed and passionate readers, and our team of fearless reporters who show up every day.

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