Journal of Undergraduate Research


colloquial names, nomenclature, healthcare legislation, Affordable Care Act, Obamacare


Family, Home, and Social Sciences


Political Science


Legislation in the United States is often referred to by colloquial names rather than by the full bill title. Existing research suggests that the nomenclature used for legislation in the United States is often intentionally meant to influence the perception of the legislation by the public1. The phenomenon of colloquial legislation naming has been seen recently in the naming of healthcare legislation with the Affordable Care Act (colloquially Obamacare) and the American Health Care Act (colloquially Trumpcare). Polls run in 2017 related to healthcare reform suggest that the opinions Americans have on the ACA were likely not based on the content of the bill, particularly when it was referred to as Obamacare. These polls indicated that Americans were often unaware that the ACA and Obamacare were the same bill, and that favorability of the legislation shifted based on the name used to refer to it2.