Saturday, November 9, 2013

The Renaming of ACA to Obamacare: The Consequences of a Smashing Failure in Relation to Milton Friedman’s “Monument Building”

WASHINGTON — President Obama was seething. Two weeks after the disastrous launch of, Obama gathered his senior staff members for what one aide recalled as an “unsparing” dressing-down.

The public accepts that technology sometimes fails, the president said, but he had personally trumpeted that would be ready on Oct. 1, and it wasn’t.

“If I had known,” Obama said, according to the aide, “we could have delayed the website.”

Obama’s anger has lit a fire under the West Wing staff. Senior aides are racing to make sure the website is fixed by the end of the month as they confront the political fallout from presidential promises, now broken, that Americans who liked their existing health care plans could keep them.” - White House in Crisis, as Other Work Goes On, NYT, 11/08/2013 (1)

If one goes back in time the term “Obamacare”, as a substitute for the Affordable Care Act (ACA), was attacked by the mainstream media as being “derogatory”.

However as time passed the term caught on and is used as often or more often than ACA. Mr. Obama, when later confronted with the term “Obamacare”, said it was fine with him to refer to ACA as Obamacare.

Hence the term goes from derogatory, to mainstream, to acceptable and embraced. The path of derogatory to embraced is worth examining as is the embracing in relation to subsequent events. How so?

Does one “embrace” the otherwise supposed derogatory comment because one is a narcissistic? Huh? If one’s name is attached, as might be the case with a monument or government building, is it not a form of Milton Friedman’s “monument building”? Hence having particular legislation carry one’s name as a synonym for the legislation is akin to one having one’s name placed upon and/or associated with a monument [Friedman’s observation]. (2)

For a moment assume the monument discussion above of named legislation is correct. What does one do when the legislation, bearing one’s name, becomes the Spruce Goose? Does the name - labeled -legislation and subsequent disaster become the ultimate folly for the narcissistic?




(2) “An Alternative to Aid: An Economist Urges U.S. to Free Trade, End of Grants of Money”* by Milton Friedman Wall Street Journal, 30 April 1962.


Update: "Last week, Pelosi chastised a reporter during a press conference for calling the act Obamacare and not the Affordable Care Act." - Gingrich: Obamacare by Any Other Name Still Stinks, Newsmax, 03/23/2014


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