“That Law ... Was Obamacare!”

Reporting on Politics and Policy.
Sept. 3 2014 9:50 AM

“That Law ... Was Obamacare!”

That man ... was Mark Pryor!

Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Back in May, Marist conducted a poll of Kentucky for NBC News and used it to play an important word game. When voters were asked what they thought of "Obamacare," they opposed it by a hearty 57–33 margin. But when asked what they thought of Kynect, the state's insurance exchange—enabled by the ACA, created by Gov. Steve Beshear—a plurality of voters approved, 29–22.

"How about that?" said Democrats. (I'm paraphrasing.) "If you separate the elements of 'Obamacare' from the word that hundreds of millions of dollars have been spent slurring, the word associated with a website that didn't work for a while, and a president whom people sort of regret re-electing, you can run on it." As Greg Sargent noticed this month, Arkansas Sen. Mark Pryor went on air with an ad describing how he battled cancer and his weak-kneed insurer.


"No one should be fighting an insurance company while they're fighting for their life," said Pryor in the ad. "That's why I passed a law that prevents insurance companies from canceling your policy if you get sick, or denying coverage for pre-exisiting conditions."

Had Pryor changed the way people talked about the ACA? Well, he tried. Today, American Crossroads is launching an ad, the first in its current $2.5 million buy, that reminds voters that "the law" Pryor referred to is the hated Obamacare. It's a trap!

Yes, in 2014, we are still deluged with ads warning voters that Obamacare cut their Medicare, and if they're angry about this they need to support Republicans who also voted to cut Medicare, but in a more dynamic way. The Obamacare barricades must not fall.

David Weigel is a reporter for Bloomberg Politics



Talking White

Black people’s disdain for “proper English” and academic achievement is a myth.

Hong Kong’s Protesters Are Ridiculously Polite. That’s What Scares Beijing So Much.

The One Fact About Ebola That Should Calm You: It Spreads Slowly

Operation Backbone

How White Boy Rick, a legendary Detroit cocaine dealer, helped the FBI uncover brazen police corruption.

A Jaw-Dropping Political Ad Aimed at Young Women, Apparently

The XX Factor
Oct. 1 2014 4:05 PM Today in GOP Outreach to Women: You Broads Like Wedding Dresses, Right?

How Even an Old Hipster Can Age Gracefully

On their new albums, Leonard Cohen, Robert Plant, and Loudon Wainwright III show three ways.

How Tattoo Parlors Became the Barber Shops of Hipster Neighborhoods

This Gargantuan Wind Farm in Wyoming Would Be the Hoover Dam of the 21st Century

Oct. 1 2014 8:34 AM This Gargantuan Wind Farm in Wyoming Would Be the Hoover Dam of the 21st Century To undertake a massively ambitious energy project, you don’t need the government anymore.
  News & Politics
Oct. 1 2014 7:26 PM Talking White Black people’s disdain for “proper English” and academic achievement is a myth.
Buy a Small Business
Oct. 1 2014 11:48 PM Inking the Deal Why tattoo parlors are a great small-business bet.
Oct. 1 2014 6:02 PM Facebook Relaxes Its “Real Name” Policy; Drag Queens Celebrate
  Double X
The XX Factor
Oct. 1 2014 5:11 PM Celebrity Feminist Identification Has Reached Peak Meaninglessness
  Slate Plus
Behind the Scenes
Oct. 1 2014 3:24 PM Revelry (and Business) at Mohonk Photos and highlights from Slate’s annual retreat.
Brow Beat
Oct. 1 2014 9:39 PM Tom Cruise Dies Over and Over Again in This Edge of Tomorrow Supercut
Future Tense
Oct. 1 2014 6:59 PM EU’s Next Digital Commissioner Thinks Keeping Nude Celeb Photos in the Cloud Is “Stupid”
  Health & Science
Oct. 1 2014 4:03 PM Does the Earth Really Have a “Hum”? Yes, but probably not the one you’re thinking.
Sports Nut
Oct. 1 2014 5:19 PM Bunt-a-Palooza! How bad was the Kansas City Royals’ bunt-all-the-time strategy in the American League wild-card game?