Short Takes On News & Events

Groups Thank ‘Obamacare,’ And Not Sarcastically

By Andrew Villegas

October 25th, 2011, 11:28 AM

“Thanks Obamacare.”

Usually Americans hear that phrase only in the most sarcastic contexts. Opponents of the health reform law have hung the “Obamacare” moniker on it to belittle the measure as nothing more than an attempt to fix America’s health care problems – varied as they are – with a one-size-fits-all approach they say expands the reach of government to never-before-seen levels.

We hear it used almost daily by Republican candidates for president, who have picked up the theme and taken it one step farther — to “Romneycare,” which has become a the negative label for GOP presidential hopeful Mitt Romney’s health reform in Massachusetts. Former GOP presidential candidate Tim Pawlenty even coined the phrase “Obamneycare” to link the state law Romney signed while governor to the federal law advanced by President Barak Obama.

This is not the first time “-care” has been used to describe a health reform effort. Back in the 1990s, “Hillarycare,” named for the former first lady and now secretary of state, was used to describe the Clinton administration’s attempt at overhauling the health care system. In the 2008 presidential primary elections, the GOP candidates in turn linked “Hillarycare” to Romney to try to unseat him as the odds-on favorite candidate.

But now, two nonprofit advocacy groups, ProgressNow Colorado Education and the Colorado Consumer Health Initiative, are trying to take back “Obamacare,” painting it as a positive brand in a new campaign (complete with its own Twitter feed and hash tag, #thanksobamacare) launched Monday. The campaign highlights 10 reasons people should  be thankful for the health law. Among them: allowing people younger than 26 to stay on their parents’ health insurance plans and stopping insurers from denying coverage to children with pre-existing conditions (the law does the same for adults beginning in 2014).

The effort also comes with a video, below, which places a special emphasis on the “-care” part of “Obamacare.”

16 Responses to “Groups Thank ‘Obamacare,’ And Not Sarcastically”

  1. Nov_284 says:

    Didnt the no pre-existing condition clause for kids in obamacare cause insurance companies to just stop offering policies for kids altogether? Gee, thanks obamacare, now my healthy kids can’t have insurance either. Whoopeee

  2. there is some very good material in this video. For additional thoughts see

  3. Larry Steele says:

    Thanks Obamacare and Thanks to the groups that have begun to use this term in a positive context. Obamacare should continue to be the term that defines the legacy of President Obama and the beginning of broad-reaching medical care for American Citizens. Those who coined the term may now have to live with their derisive term and its positive impact on America for years to come.

  4. Bitter and Boozy says:

    Healthy & “sick” kids in Colorado can get insurance thanks to Obamacare – we have two open enrollment period each year. Our insurance companies worked closely with health advocates and kids groups to develop a set of requirements for all plans in the individual market – which is what the insurance companies wanted.

  5. The huge lie of Obamacare is it will make healthcare more assessable. Obamacare will make healthcare less assessable because it does not increase the number of doctors, nurses, facilities, hospitals, insurers, or drugs. When you add between 30-50,000,000 people to the number of insured, you’ve increased demand for healthcare. By penalizing doctors or Medicare reimbursements, you create an even greater supply side problem. 1 in 6 hospitals may close. Price fixing equals socialism.

  6. LT_1959 says:

    Anyone or organization that drops health insurance becuase of the new health care law is clearly trying to make a statement or looking for a reason or ‘cover” to save some short term cash. Bravo to the organizations in Colorado trying to retake the name “ObamaCare” and make it a positive thing just like the results of the law are and will be. Truthfully, the results could be a lot more positive if the naysayers would spend their effort trying to improve it instead of trying to discredit or “repeal and replace”. I can only imagine what they’d replace it with. Perhaps a version of Rick Perry’s Texas “frontier justice” health care?

  7. W Khalifa says:


    Not sure about assessable, but Obamacare sure does make health care more accessible for everyone.

  8. Dr Mickster says:

    Specifically to address “Obamacare Lies”. You. Are. Wrong. Adding people to the category of “insured” doesn’t create people, they’ve been there all along, just not covered by insurance. What that means is that the places that provide them care raise their prices to cover the losses. It’s known as cost shifting and it’s very common to every commodity-based business. What the ACA does is ensure that the costs accrued by an individual are more often tied to those services that they use, not a shifted cost that all the rest of us pay. Example: I see an uninsured patient in the ER for appendicitis (I’m a surgeon), they have no insurance, I take their appendix out, they spend two days in the hospital and get discharged. They come back to the office (hospital) for a follow up visit. I generate a bill for my services, the hospital generates a bill for the hospitalization fees, the care in the ER. The patient has no insurance, none of the bill gets paid. The hospital has still spent several thousand dollars and I’ve “spent” my surgical services which have a market-driven value. If that happens once a month per hospital or surgeon, it would be written off as bad debt and we’d go about our lives. It happens thousands of times a day, however. The hospital billing finance dept. figured out many, many years ago, what the percentages needed to be in order to at least break even on those patients so they add that to the charges for the insured majority.

    Once 2014 rolls around, the number of times that scenario plays out drops precipitously because most of the 50M or so of us who don’t yet have insurance get at least Medicaid so the hospitals have less/no excuse for shifting costs so they can/should charge more appropriately, the rest of us. As a surgeon, if I work hard enough and have a balanced mix of payors (insurance providers), I can make a living and keep my staff employed and insured. That’s part of what the ACA does. Check your facts, not the propaganda. It’s not perfect but its much, much better than everything else so far.

  9. Thank you DR Mickster…

    Unfortunately though, I have a feeling that your fine explanation most likely fell on deaf ears with the poster know as *Obamacare lies* at 12:01 pm. If you highlight his name it takes you to his business site selling COBRA Insurance. His name is Craig. And the page he directs you to at lays out his entire “opinion” relating to Obamacare. And boy, are they ever some kind of opinions.

    Although, the comment that you left above, Dr Mickster, will really help others understand cost-shifting and how the unpaid costs for the for ER and it’s related services are borne by the rest of us who are fortunate enough to have insurance.

    Thanks Again, ~Red~

  10. Dr Mickster,

    let’s assume more of your services get paid for. Though not addressed how they will make more of you. I assume it’s not easy to become a surgeon. Obamacare creates an almost unlimited demand for surgery. Maybe you like Obamacare because you can charge for with much greater demand. But the rest of us will have to pay that increase costs. If not given me a supply-side solution. Others remarked Obamacare creates a workforce commission or begins a study. The commissions and studies don’t create doctors, nurses, hospitals and facilities to care for millions more.

    People procrastinate on healthcare because they’re uninsured or seek other alternatives. Many payment services directly with cash. Negotiate directly with their doctors. That actually keeps prices down. And a demand down. And speaking of your evil profit, what do you think about lowering your pay to $28,000 per annum?

  11. What a shame. Healthcare and the actual caring for sick patients have turned into a socialist and political agenda. We had great healthcare, and yes it carried a price tag. Unfortunately replacing integral blood vessels in a failed heart, removing a life threatening tumor from your brain, or attaching a torn retina from a potential blind patient costs money. Expertise and excellence is going to be more costly than mediocre and substitute care. The business of politicians entering a complex world of caring for patients will destroy the quality and excellence we have today. Innovation gets replaced by meeting ridiculous bureaucratic mindless data counting and nightmarish paperwork and accountabilities that only further reduce excellent bedside care. Obamacare is a political agenda and nothing more. Free markets work, build, stimulate and produce. What a pity from a pitiful government.

  12. LegacyCost says:

    If market-based solutions to care disparities were the answer, the US would have the highest quality and lowest cost. Commodity pricing schemes have not worked in America and human health care should not be a commodity.
    Our outcomes are poor related to the rest of the industrial world and we already pay nearly twice as much as the universal access systems yet 40 to 50 million of our fellow citizens have no regular access to the care they need when they need it.
    The problem is that wall street, the ins corporations and pharmaceutical conglomerates have no concern for actually delivering care. The finance of care delivery is simply a means to extract 100′s of billions annually from whats left of the American economy.

  13. D says:

    When Surgeon General Evertt Koop was asked about the state of the health care system, he replied that there is no system, and it is broken.

    I work in public health and acknowledge my bias. One of the features of “Obamacare” is a shift of focus towards prevention. Sending Medicare obese, hypertensive, diabetics is not a winning proposition. Prevention won’t do much for Dr. Mickster’s appendix problem, when they go they go. At least based on our current knowledge. But bad appendicies aren’t the problem. Physical inactivity, poor diets and smoking are the problem.

  14. Lynda says:

    Dear Dr Mickster,

    I applaud your efforts to provide a logical, informed explanation. Judging by the response provided by “obamacare lies” I’m guessing he read the first sentence of your explanation and proceeded to type in a response that did nothing other than reiterate his previous opinion and demonstrate his inability to compose a rational argument.

    Thanks again Dr Mickster for your insightful response.

  15. Tracy says:

    Someone said:
    “Didnt the no pre-existing condition clause for kids in obamacare cause insurance companies to just stop offering policies for kids altogether? Gee, thanks obamacare, now my healthy kids can’t have insurance either. Whoopeee”
    Yes..some did stop offering policies. To me it shows their non-stop need to make billions and it highlights their greed. So happy you have healthy kids..for now. Hopefully, you won’t find yourself on the other side of that fence because judging by your high and mighty tone, I don’t think you will handle it very well. Let’s bow down to the constant lobbying of the insurance companies and let them have their way…happy now?

  16. Tracy says:

    “Obamacare lies”, I hope you lose your insurance as many others have and you get to see it for what it is. Aren’t you late for a tea-bag meeting? Gotta get that black president out of office!!! Nothing else matters!