August 26, 2009

Idea: Rename the Health Bill

As the Democrats in Congress are struggling to get the rest of America on board with their proposed health plan, I can’t help but wonder if a better name wouldn’t help. Take a page from the Republican playbook. They give bills names that are loaded with meaning and are difficult to vote against without looking bad. Who would vote no on something called No Child Left Behind? Who wouldn’t support the USA Patriot act?

So I propose that the Senate rename their bill the American Legislative Insurance For Everyone act, a.k.a. the American LIFE act.

Who could vote against the American LIFE act? What Senator wants to be up for reelection and hear their opponent ask “Why did you vote against American LIFE, Senator?”

I floated the idea on Twitter and while many people thought it was a good idea, others rightly pointed out that the word “For” is often omitted from acronyms, so Republicans could just call it the American LIE act. That’s a good point. So make LIFE stand for something else. Or come up with another acronym. But a good name could help keep Republicans from defining the bill how they want people to see it.


It’s gonna be the Edward Kennedy Memorial Health Something Or Other… which is fine rebranding by me.

Hint: For a list of health-care act related words, try generating a tag cloud with a site like Then input the URL to your favorite medical site or health care debate blog, talk show transcript, etc. and voila— inspiration.

George Lakoff said something akin to your idea, proposing the administration refer to the health care reform as “The American Plan”. Video here:

Shouldn’t we be aiming to name our bills more accurately rather than naming them in a way that will sneak them through? I’m speaking for all sides when I say this. I could hardly be proud of something I passed simply because the name I picked for it tricked people into voting for it. A good name IS important, but it should be chosen on how accurately it describes the bill’s objectives.

Reminds me of this:


From here.

Republicans are defining the bill by pointing out the most blatantly undesirable parts. How would an argument from pathos change this definition?

If the names of bills matter that much, America needs better politicians.

Bill Maher has said some siliar things to your point on his show this week. I have been wondering for awhile why everyone keeps referring to it as
“Healthcare Reform” when it isn’t really about reforming healthcare, it is about changing how the insurance works. Except for the people employed by insurance companies (and probably not even most of them), nobody likes the insurance companies. They cost too much, they are hard to work with, the process is overly complicated, they can drop or deny coverage, etc.

The bill and debate should be entitle something like Down With Insurance Providers. Americans can rally behind that.

A quick googling shows “No Child Left Behind” (co-sponsored by Ted Kennedy) is already a re-branding of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), and in 2001 some were wondering if too many negative connotations associated with the title required another name change for ESEA:

It still passed.

Maybe this Health Care reform bill is effectively dubious and difficult to comprehend or implement, which makes it difficult to sell.

*I’m just saying*

Here’s a novel concept… Maybe they should just FIX the insurance laws already in place instead of trying to control every single aspect of human life on this planet.

People need to stop sucking the government’s cock and show those MF’s who wears the pants.

Right. Because renaming the bill in an attempt to get it to pass won’t be patently obvious to everyone in “flyover country”. FYI, the people who are opposed to this bill are generally opposed to Republican congressional leadership too.

For a country so filled with people who seem to relate to things at an 8th grade emotional level, this is probably the best way to win them over. Makes me sad :(

The new name: The Barack Obama, Ronald Reagan, John F. Kennedy, and Abraham Lincoln American Patriotism and Democracy Health Plan for Orphans, Puppies, and War Veterans.

Why do you hate kittens, Jessie?

If the names of bills matter that much, America needs better politicians.

To get better politicians, we need better Americans.

How about the “American Health” bill.
Who wouldn’t vote for “Health”?

LIFE - Legislation for Insurance Freedom and Entitlement

Well, up here in Canada, one of the reasons we have a doctor/nurse shortage is because of government health care. When the gov’t controls health care, it controls what doctors charge, so all the good doctors end up in countries where they can charge what they’re worth instead of what the gov’t says they are worth. I would rather pay an insurance company than deal with some of the idiot doctors we wind up with here…

Well, Justin, we have a thing down here called Insurance. It limits what it will pay the doctor and that has two effects:

1) It means that procedures that would be cheap if just the patient was paying can now be more expensive because the buyer is no longer directly connected to the cost. For example: a routine dental cleaning probably doesn’t cost $150, but the doctor can charge that because that’s the maximum insurance is willing to pay. This, in turn, eventually drives up premiums and other costs, etc.

2) The doc is also limited on how much he can charge because folks don’t want to pay what insurance won’t cover. So let’s resume the previous example. Let’s say that the dental cleaning is actually worth more than $150. The doc can’t really charge $250 because folks are going to balk at paying $100 additional, they’ll find another provider.

In the end, your government sets the prices and our insurance industry sets the prices and the buyer is insulated from the true costs, releasing them of any downward pressure (i.e. driving them upwards).

Of course there are natural economic forces that limit what a doctor can charge (both to the insurance company and to an uninsured individual), but my point was that when the government gets involved, it eliminates the natural forces and throws everything off. I am not saying that it is a good thing to have doctors over charging for their services, just that it is a bad idea to have the government determine everything.

The Edward Kennedy Good Health Bill

this is the same logic that gave us “pro-choice”

for a party that believes it owns populism, its funny it has such a bad reputation when it comes to such things as say, life.

Just call it the “Get Somebody Else To Pay For My Health Insurance While I Pay For My iphone, cable, and Flat Panel TV Act”

Yeah like the democrat “Employee Free Choice Act” that gets rid of secret ballots, taking away free choice.

Or bills aimed at veterans that take away more than they give, to get Repubs to look bad for voting against them.

Emotive naming has been used on both sides of the aisle.

But only dems, afaik, more often name their bills the exact opposite of what they really are.

Therefore they should name this the “Health Freedom and Financial Responsibility Act” lol

There has been a millions proposals about the health Issues but nothing has gone through yet. We are just waiting for a better health service in qualities and costs.

There has been a millions proposals about the health Issues but nothing has gone through yet. We are just waiting for a better health service in qualities and costs.

If what we name our bills matters this much… this is sad… but thinking about how rite it is… is even sadder… thanks for the post.