TN congressman who derided the term ‘Obamacare’ uses it in his newsletter


By Chris Butler | Tennessee Watchdog

NASHVILLE — U.S. Rep. Steve Cohen, D-Memphis, reportedly channeled his inner Admiral Ackbar and proclaimed that anybody who referred to the Affordable Care Act as Obamacare was falling for a trap.

That was November.

Just last week, in an e-newsletter from his office, Cohen referred to the law as Obamacare.

Has Cohen changed his mind and embraced Obamacare as an acceptable term?

U.S. Rep. Steve Cohen, D- Memphis

If so, is he guilty of gross insensitivity per the standards of his friends at MSNBC, one of whom, Melissa Harris-Perry, announced in December that Obamacare is a derogatory term?

According to the Memphis Daily News, Cohen, while deriding tea partiers, said the following at a Veterans Day luncheon:

“The fact is we probably shouldn’t call it Obamacare because that’s falling into the trap,” Cohen reportedly said.

“We should call it the Affordable Care Act.”

In last week’s e-newsletter, Cohen, while promoting the law, fell into his own snare:

“All Memphians should have quality health insurance and the President’s landmark Affordable Care Act — also known as Obamacare — is making affordable, higher-quality coverage available to people who have not had access to it in the past.”

So what’s going on here?

Cohen spokesman Ben Garmisa failed to immediately return Tennessee Watchdog’s phone and email messages.

Did Cohen, a frequent guest on MSNBC, fail to realize Perry cautioned people against the use of the term Obamacare on her show?

“The word was conceived of by a group of wealthy white men who needed a way to put themselves above and apart from a black man; to render him inferior and unequal and to diminish his accomplishments,” Perry said of the term.

Tennessee Watchdog has not confirmed whether Cohen plans to apologize for his use of the term — or if he would voluntarily commit himself to sensitivity training.

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