House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi really dislikes the word “Obamacare,” the informal name given to the Affordable Care Act, which is about to celebrate its fourth anniversary on Sunday.
The California Democrat dislikes the term so much that she publicly reminded a reporter of the law’s proper name on Thursday during a press conference on Capitol Hill.
The question posed to the minority leader was whether she felt, given the current environment, that Obamacare was a winner in swing states.
Pelosi replied that the she believes the law is “a winner.”
But then she politely lectured the reporter saying, “And by the way, it’s called the Affordable Care Act. It’s called the Affordable Care Act. I know you didn’t mean any compliment or derogatory [term], but it’s called the Affordable Care Act. The Affordable Care Act -- when people know what it is and see what it means and that’s the case we have to make.” [Pelosi alluded to the Democrats' contention that the law results in lower health care costs for Americans.]
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The reporter then pointed out that he was using a term, "Obamacare," that President Obama himself has used in the past.
But Pelosi swiftly added, “And I tell [the president] the same thing I’m telling you. Affordable. There’s a reason … Affordable. Affordable. Affordable. Affordable. Affordable. The reason they change the name of it is because they want to get away -- they, the opponents -- from the word ‘affordable.’ And that’s why I’m patient with some of these comments. Whatever it is, it’s infinitely more affordable than the path we were on.”
When asked why so many Democrats are struggling to respond to attacks against the law, the minority leader said she is not aware her colleagues are struggling.
Before the light exchange, Pelosi had said that when it comes to the law, it shouldn't be about politics but the health of America’s families. Congressional Republicans, who said the law is bad policy and a job killer, have voted to repeal it more than 50 times, unsuccessfully.
“We don’t weigh its value as to what it means politically,” Pelosi said. “We weigh its value as to what it means to the health, well-being, economic and health security of America’s families.”
“We are not running on this,” she added. “We are running on what the American people want us to run on and that is job creation. Show us the jobs. Why are we not here passing a jobs agenda instead of 51 times having politically nonsense on the floor of the House?”