Dear NPR, please call the law by its rightful name, The Affordable Care Act, and not the prejudicial name its opponents want it called.
Thank you for your inquiry. We asked Ron Elving about the term and here is his reponse:
Initially, the term was coined and used by opponents of the ACA. It had a sneering kind of tone to it, implying that the president was trying to imitate or piggyback on the popularity of Medicare. (As indeed a lot of commercial products have done since 1965.) The White House initially resisted the term for this reason, preferring Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.
In the headline wars of the cable tv news world, of course, PPACA never had a chance. Obamacare became increasingly common.
So some while ago, the White House did a turnaround and embraced the term. I am attaching a copy of the memo David Axelrod wrote about the term and why it was okay to use it as far as he was concerned. Axelrod was still in the White House as the top political advisor at the time and is now in Chicago co-directing the re-elect campaign.
If President Obama wants to call it Obamacare then I am dropping my opposition and joining those who are reclaiming it as a term for a positive accomplishment of his first term.