Healthcare law's name affects polling numbers

There is a 7-point gap in approval of President Obama's signature healthcare law depending on what it is called by pollsters, the Gallup organization said on Wednesday.

The results show that when the law is called the Affordable Care Act with no mention of Obama’s push to enact it, 45 percent of people approve while 49 percent disapprove. 

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On the other end, when the law is called ObamaCare with no mention of the Affordable Care Act, its approval rating falls to 38 percent with 54 percent of people disapproving. 

“Clearly, all else being equal, the words 'Affordable Care Act' engender a modestly more positive reaction than the term ObamaCare,” said Frank Newport, the editor in chief of Gallup, in an analysis accompanying the experiment.

When the law is called the Affordable Care Act while also mentioning Obama 41 percent of people approve and 54 percent disapprove. Nearly the same number is recorded when the law is simply called the 2010 healthcare law. 

“Approval of the healthcare law using the wording that mentions both Affordable Care Act and Obama, and the wording that mentions only the healthcare law — which can be thought of as balanced approaches — comes in between the first two reviewed above,” Newport said. 

Gallup itself uses the wording that mentions of Obama and the Affordable Care Act, which it calls the most balanced approach. 

During Obama’s reelection campaign last year, he and his team began embracing the term on the stump, attempting to change its derogatory intent by Republicans.

Many news outlets now use ObamaCare as shorthand for the healthcare law.  

The polling was conducted from Nov. 4 to 17 and surveyed about 1,800 about each term.