There’s been a major development in health-care politics over the last few months. The Obama administration and the Republicans came to an agreement on health reform. Not the law itself — they’re still at each other’s throats over that. But they finally agree on how to refer to it. Nowadays, both sides are calling it Obamacare. And during the first night of the Democratic National Convention, the Democrats talked about Obamacare. A lot.
That was, in itself, a surprise. Obamacare — or, as it’s officially called, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act — doesn’t poll particularly well, and it’s believed to have been a key contributor to the Republican victory in 2010. But Democrats appear to think that the politics have changed. Indeed, if the first night of the Democratic Convention is to be remembered for anything aside from Michelle Obama’s speech, it will probably be remembered as the night that Democrats stood up and began fighting for their health-care law.
Michelle Obama and the Democrats doubled down on “Obamacare.” (Jae C. Hong/AP)
“Governor Romney says people like me were the most excited about President Obama the day we voted for him,” said Stacey Lihn, whose daughter was born with a congenital heart defect. “But that’s not true. Not even close. For me, there was the day the Affordable Care Act passed and I no longer had to worry about Zoe getting the care she needed. There was the day the letter arrived from the insurance company, saying that our daughter’s lifetime cap had been lifted.”
Lihn wasn’t shy about the stakes for her family. “Governor Romney repealing health care reform is something we worry about literally every day,” she said. “Zoe’s third open-heart surgery will happen either next year or the year after. If Mitt Romney becomes president and Obamacare is repealed, there’s a good chance she’ll hit her lifetime cap.”