Obamacare vs. The Affordable Care Act (Yeah, They’re The Same Thing)

Photo By Center for American Progress Action Fund from Washington, DC (Barack Obama at Las Vegas Presidential Forum) [CC-BY-SA-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Photo courtesy of Center for American Progress Action Fund (via Wikimedia Commons)


Rachel Maddow talked about some bewildering results of a recent survey on people’s feelings about Obamacare on her news show. CNBC has reported about it as well:

29% of the public supports Obamacare compared with 22% who support the Affordable Care Act.

46% oppose Obamacare and 37% oppose Affordable Care Act.

So what’s going on? Well, it’s all in the name, of course!

The strange results are due to two things. The first is that the respondents didn’t know that Obamacare and the Affordable Care Act are the same thing (Obamacare is simply a derisive nickname given to the Affordable Care Act by those who don’t support it, whereas the Affordable Care Act is its official name). The second is that the respondents were swayed by the name used in the survey. When the term “Obamacare” was used, the results were different than when the term “Affordable Care Act” was used.

This has some troubling implications that the White House is going to have to address if they want to win the hearts and minds of those who say they don’t support his new health care plan. First, the two terms need to be clarified for people who still don’t get it. Second, the poll results show that in order for a majority of people to support it, it better be REALLY good. When it is implemented (which is still not a definite yet), it will have to work extremely well in order to overcome many people’s automatic dislike in anything Pres. Obama does.

Whether or not Pres. Obama’s health care plan is the miracle he says it will be is still unclear. Personally, after reading a lot about it, I don’t think it will be perfect. But I do think it will be a lot better than what we have now, which is a system in which way too many people are uninsured. All we can do is wait and see.

On a lighter note, Rachel Maddow shared some images put up on Twitter and Tumblr that perfectly highlight the confusion over the name of the plan. How would people feel about the plan if it was called this:


Image courtesy of adorablecareact.tumblr.com


Image courtesy of adorablecareact.tumblr.com


Image courtesy of adorablecareact.tumblr.com

Image courtesy of adorablecareact.tumblr.com


7 thoughts on “Obamacare vs. The Affordable Care Act (Yeah, They’re The Same Thing)

  1. One explanation could be the margin of error for the survey which isn’t mentioned by CNBC or the blog posting. The MOE for the survey was 3.4%. This puts the numbers pretty close to each other, though not overlapping, in both cases at the 95% confidence level. If one increases the confidence level just a teensy bit then then the numbers will overlap, meaning, they are the same from a statistical perspective and any difference is due to just random variation due to sampling. Or, let’s Rachel. She’s like nails-on-a-blackboard. Most people listening to her “vote with their clickers” before getting very far into the rant. http://www.ibtimes.com/cable-news-ratings-rachel-maddow-sinks-msnbc-cnn-rebounds-fox-news-still-untouchable-1333745

    • 3.4% is unusual for a MOE in a published survey. Where did you hear that? I think that the poll results as reported are probably reflective of the population, anyway. I say that because the health care plan makes perfect sense, yet many still don’t like it because Fox News and other right-wing news media are telling people that they shouldn’t like it, and their listeners believe them, regardless of solid facts.

      • 3.4% is neither usual or unusual. It is what it is. I’m just providing an explanation that doesn’t include blaming Fox News or others for being either propagandists or stupid. Do the math. You’ll see that considering the MOE the numbers are statistically very close and could be statistically the same if the level of confidence was increased slightly.

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