The White House Doesn't Want Trump's Name On The Health Care Bill

by Bronwyn Isaac
Alex Wong/Getty Images News/Getty Images

While answering a reporter's question about the Republican Senate health care bill, Deputy White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said the White House won't call the health care bill Trumpcare. More specifically, she doesn't want the public to refer to it as Trumpcare.

During an off-air press briefing on Wednesday, Buzzfeed White House correspondent Adrian Carrasquillo tweeted, "@SHSanders45 again says they're not looking for health care to be known as Trumpcare. Sad."

This is not the first time White House officials have made it clear they don't want the GOP health care bill called Trumpcare. In March, during an interview on Fox News, White House counselor Kellyanne Conway suggested a departure from the idea of nicknaming the health care bill after Trump.

"Well, it’s the American Health Care Act and I think it’s aptly named for this reason. It wants everybody to have access to coverage; that just did not happen under Obamacare," she said.

When pressed by the America's Newsroom host Bill Hemmer about whether people would actually call it the AHCA, versus Trumpcare, Conway held firm in her aversion to branding it after the president.

"I’ll call it ‘Trumpcare’ if you want to, but I didn’t hear President Trump say to any of us, ‘Hey, I want my name on that.’ We’re happy it’s the American Health Care Act. This is serious stuff; it’s not about branding according to someone’s name," Conway told Fox News.

White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer has also shied away from referring to the GOP health care bill as Trumpcare. "We’re less concerned with labels right now and more in terms of action and results," he told press at a news briefing.

It goes without saying that the actual policies of the GOP health care bill, and the reality it will create for millions of Americans, takes priority over any labels. However, it is worth noting that the term Obamacare, commonly used as a nickname for the Affordable Care Act, wasn't implemented by White House leaders or Obama himself.

According to The New York Times the word Obamacare was first printed in March 2007, when the health care lobbyist Jeanne Schulte Scott published it in a health industry journal. This was before the election cycle, when Obama had yet to secure a presidency.

"We will soon see a 'Giuliani-care' and 'Obama-care' to go along with 'McCain-care,' 'Edwards-care,' and a totally revamped and remodeled 'Hillary-care' from the 1990s," wrote Scott.

The name became more popular on the election campaign trail when Republican Mitt Romney pitched his work on health reforms, comparing it to the Democratic alternatives.

"If the Democrats do it, it will be socialized medicine; it'll be government-managed care. It'll be what's known as Hillarycare or Barack Obamacare, or whatever you want to call it," Romney told a crowd in Des Moines, Iowa.

In the following years, the term Obamacare was used both by Republicans as a criticism of the Affordable Care Act, and eventually, by the Obama campaign and fellow Democrats in efforts to reclaim it. Similarly, in the case of the nickname "Trumpcare," the power of a name lies heavier in the hands of the masses than the White House itself.