Democrats reclaim ‘Obamacare’ at DNC


It’s been a politically toxic term, one Republicans have flung into the public discourse as a way to describe the controversial health care law President Obama so championed. The controversy, the law, and the nickname stuck.

Following President Obama’s lead on the campaign trail, Dems now seem to embrace the name rewrite – even flaunting it at the 2012 Democratic National Convention. On the first night of the DNC, 19 speakers discussed the Affordable Care Act, some giving “Obamacare” a direct shout-out.

Kathleen Sebelius, Secretary of Health and Human Services, declared “Republicans may see Romneycare as a scarlet letter, but for us Democrats, Obamacare is a badge of honor.”

Lawrence O’Donnell says this rhetoric is no accident — it’s a “very deliberate choice that this convention is making to embrace ‘Obamacare.’”

“What is not commonly known is that every speech that is delivered at that podium goes through a process in a little office right under the podium,” Lawrence told msnbc’s Chris Jansing on Wednesday. “There are Democratic speechwriters there, a team of speechwriters that go through every speech for consistency, for clarity.”

DNC organizers tried to personalize the impact of the new health care law on American families, framing it in a positive light. One moving moment of the night came from Stacey Lihn, a mom whose toddler suffers from a congenital heart disease. She took to the podium to discuss her families’ struggles to pay for health care and declared her support for “Obamacare.”

“Imagine that you have a baby with congenital heart disease who needs three different open heart surgery operations over a period of years. You’re going to hit the actual lifetime limit on that child’s health insurance by the time she’s six or seven-years-old.” Lawrence asked, “And then what do you do? You have to sell your home, you’ll go into bankruptcy, it’s an impossible situation. And this put a human face on that.”

Romneycare, Democratic National Convention, Affordable Care Act and Obamacare

Democrats reclaim 'Obamacare' at DNC