In a shrewd political turnabout, the Obama presidential campaign is embracing the previously pejorative connotation of the term “Obamacare” that the Republicans have owned. Democrats are reclaiming it as a campaign slogan. In the 1950s Eisenhower supporters had “ I Like Ike” buttons, and in 2012 Obama devotees will be sporting T-shirts, buttons, and bumper stickers with “I like Obamacare.”
On Friday, President Barack Obama said he's reclaiming the moniker for those who like the law. "Happy birthday to Obamacare: two years in, the Affordable Care Act is making millions of Americans’ lives better every day," in a message from the president's Twitter feed on Friday, the two-year anniversary of his signing of the insurance-expansion law. Then he tweeted: "If you're proud of Obamacare and tired of the other side using it as a dirty word, complete this sentence: #ILikeObamacare because…"
The new campaign strategy comes on the eve of the U.S. Supreme Court beginning arguments on Monday March 26, 2012 on the constitutionality of the mandate requiring all Americans to purchase health insurance with or without the aid of government subsidies, or pay a fee assessed on their federal income tax.
While the mandate is considered unpopular to some mainly because it is a mandate, it is necessary in order to spread the costs of health care among all citizens, not merely those who are ill or elderly. It ensures that women are covered equally, the 32 million uninsured will now have access to affordable insurance, and that insurance companies cannot use pre-existing conditions to determine coverage or fees.
Some health insurance companies are taking a pro-active approach and moving forward with meeting the standards of the new health care law. Aetna, one of the-largest health insurance companies in the country, said it was moving forward with innovations such as "accountable care organizations" that reward medical professionals for providing preventive care rather than stepping in only when someone gets sick. More than 200 doctors in the Aetna network get paid more when they can show they have regularly reached out to patients to manage their health.
On Monday through Wednesday next week four arguments will be presented in the U.S. Supreme Court to determine the fate of the health care law mandate, according to Cantor and Seton Hall law professor John V. Jacobi.
"It is unlikely the entire Affordable Care Act will go away," Jacobi said. "I suspect much of the Affordable Care Act will continue. What Congress and the executive branch will do if portions of the statute are stricken remain to be seen.” Jacobi's comments were originally reported by nj.com.
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