What's in a name? Call it Obamacare and care not what they think

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Republicans have a talent for using words as political stilettos. Some like to refer to the "Democrat Party" instead of the more courteous and accurate Democratic Party. In the same way, they call the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act "Obamacare," an attempt to link President Barack Obama's name to what critics believe is unpopular legislation.

But is this political shorthand for health care reform so pejorative that it can't be said on the floor of the state Senate? That's ridiculous. Politics isn't for those with overly sensitive ears.

Yet this actually became an issue last Wednesday when Senate President Pro Tem Joe Scarnati mentioned "Obamacare" and Sen. Anthony Williams, a Democrat, objected to the term as inappropriately partisan. His objection was eventually overruled.

This waste of time was part of a bigger time-waster -- a plan to amend the state Constitution so that Pennsylvanians could not be required to have health insurance. That passed 29-19, but is unlikely to make any difference.

As seen last week, conservative Supreme Court justices have their own stilettos out. If the court kills Obama-care, it may yet rebound on Republicans as a reminder that at least Mr. Obama cared.



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