5 Words Obama Dodges in Health Care Debate

'Reconciliation,' 'mandate' missing from president's speeches
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 9, 2010 8:04 AM CST
President Barack Obama speaks about health care reform at Arcadia University in Glenside, Pa. yesterday.   (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)

(Newser) – President Obama tends to use words in ways that contradict their meanings and then abandon them when people realize what he's really saying, writes former Bush speechwriter William McGurn, listing five words the president now avoids using unless he's forced to by reporters or Republicans.

  • Reconciliation: Obama calls for the use of reconciliation but avoids actually using the word, asking instead for for a vote that "is nothing more than a simple majority," McGurn notes in the Wall Street Journal.
  • Cadillac: Obama spoke of taxing expensive "Cadillac" insurance plans in town-hall meetings last year, but has abandoned the word after agreeing to big exemptions for unions.

  • C-SPAN: Obama "loved the word C-SPAN" on the campaign trail, but rarely utters it now that his promise that the health care negotiations would be televised hasn't materialized.
  • Health care reform: "Obamacare" was rechristened health-insurance reform after the president scaled back his plans and stepped up his anti-corporate rhetoric.
  • Mandate: Obama once slammed Hillary Clinton over her plans for an individual mandate, but avoids the word as too forceful now that he's flip-flopped and the House and Senate bills include measures that force Americans to buy insurance.

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