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Using the Word 'Obamacare' for Political Gain

Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo
President Barack Obama has joked about Republican attacks on his signature health care reform plan.

In June, House Democrats cried foul when Republicans stopped them from saying in official mass mailings that House Budget Chairman Paul Ryan’s (Wis.) GOP budget would “end” Medicare.

Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-Va.) called that decision “Orwellian.”

“It is the most extreme censorship I have ever encountered,” he told Roll Call. “And it’s all because they have been taking heat on Medicare.”

Asked about Democrats vetoing the use of Obamacare in mailings, Connolly stayed true to the principle of his objections on the Medicare language.

“I believe we should not be in the business of censorship on either side. And while I object to the term ‘Obamacare’ as deliberately pejorative, I would nonetheless support your right to use it, if I can paraphrase Patrick Henry,” he said.

The name “Obamacare” harks back to “Hillarycare,” the moniker opponents to President Bill Clinton’s health care proposal attached to it in reference to Hillary Rodham Clinton’s role in crafting the plan.

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