It has not escaped my notice that the Obamacare website is named “healthcare.gov.” That sounds innocuous enough, so why am I calling anyone’s attention to it?
It’s emblematic of the insidious nature of the language around the ACA that we hardly notice. But I very doubt doubt the site’s name was chosen casually. It is a very deliberate attempt (although almost beautiful in its subtlety) to make the populace think that what Obamacare—and government—dispenses is health care itself.
Government as healer, and as beneficent portal to doctors, nurses, hospitals, and medication; to treatment.
But what the government is actually offering here is health insurance. “Healthinsurance.gov” is not too unwieldy a phrase for a website URL. Of course, health insurance facilitates the procuring of health care for the majority of people (although the price of health care has risen so much partly as a result of widespread third-party coverage).
You won’t be seeing the website renamed “healthinsurance.gov” any time soon. Or any time at all. Even if we went to single payer—in which case it really would be healthinsurance.gov—the government would call it something else. In Britain, for example, they skip the “care” and just call it the National Health Service.