Why the Democrats lost the White House

Obamacare !

Now with an election that was so insanely close …
We’re talking tens of thousands of votes in an election of 120 million votes, so less than 1/10 of 1%. In other words, if 40,000 of the right people had voted for Hillary rather than Trump, she would have been president.
… there could be any number of reasons why Trump ended up winning rather than Hillary. But, most of them have been named by the media and those are obviously fairly well known. I am talking about a problem that has been continuing to this day.

The media obviously had a huge impact in this, and really any election since the invention of the newspaper. And the media obviously is also the reason Trump got past the very first primary in the first place. The media gave Trump an estimated $1.8 Billion in free coverage. More than three times what any other candidate received. It could even be argued than Bernie would now be president had he received the same kind of coverage.

It seems completely off-topic in this discussion, but a lot of people are making fun of the guys who voted for Trump, welcome the repeal of Obamacare and dread losing the Affordable Care Act.

And here is where all that comes together. The media, on several issues, is adopting the GOP’s wording of things. On the left it’s likely because Obamacare is an object of pride, an object of accomplishment. On the right the name Obama obviously doesn’t receive the same kind of reaction, and Obamacare is used to degrade the law. In the center, though, where it probably matters the most “Obamacare” is just more catchy than “Affordable Care Act”. And that’s where my problem is today.

If the media, even if we exclude the right wing, had called the law by the right and proper name, considering the insanely close election, and considering that some people didn’t know that there’s no difference, could have probably made a difference.

The media as a whole never really got around to explaining that Obamacare and the ACA are the exact same thing. Most people just assumed that the voter is reasonably educated on the choices that they’re making. Historically that is not the case. The right explains what their intentions are, the left explains what the right’s intentions are, but neither of them actually explain the implications, beyond a few buzz-words and numbers anyway. Yes they said that millions of people would lose their insurance, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that those people are worse off. Which they are.

So even today you hear about the Obamacare repeal on all sides. And Obamacare is not a popular law. The ACA is hugely popular, though, and (just to make the point again) is Obamacare.

So please, if you’re covering the Obamacare repeal, or all the attempts on it that have been made, and are continuing to be made, call it the Affordable Care Act. It might make a difference. It might shift the public view in favor of keeping it. It might educate at least some voters on what the republicans are trying to do. And for the record, they’re trying to get rid of it mostly because of the name. The law, as it was passed, was over 90% similar to a plan proposed by republicans. The GOP wrote Obamacare. Now they want to replace it with their own plan.

Leave a Reply