Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) said he believes that calling President Barack Obama's signature health care law "Obamacare" is too kind, and he wants to go back to using its actual name, which he considers more sinister and revealing.
"One thing I’ve been trying to do is discipline myself to use the full name of this law: Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act," Johnson said Thursday on the Fox News radio show "Kilmeade and Friends."
"I mean, that is Orwellian in origin and let’s face it, it’s really not protecting patients as we’ve seen millions of people –- contrary to President Obama’s repeated promise -– they’re losing not only their coverage, but access to the doctors and treatments that have kept them alive."
Johnson used Wisconsin as an example to show how unaffordable he feels the act is.
"An average plan for a family didn’t go down $2,500 per year; it’s gone up about $2,500 per year, so I mean it's a totally misnamed law," he added. "And so, I want to use the name just to make sure people understand really what a fraud Obamacare really is. You know what, I just made a mistake -- the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, I mean."
Host Brian Kilmeade picked up on the senator's slip -- one he made throughout the radio show.
Republicans actually adopted the term "Obamacare" first in an attempt to remind voters that the president is responsible for what many of them believe is one of the worst laws ever.
"They’re losing the argument and they’re declaring the name of the policy pejorative. If they were winning, they’d be happy to call it ObamaCare,” Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) told ABC News in 2011.
Rep. Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) told reporters Tuesday that he regrets calling the law Obamacare because Republicans capitalized on the tie between the name and the president.
"I wish I hadn't called it Obamacare before because that has politicized it and [the name] has been used by Republicans as a pejorative term," Hoyer said.
But President Barack Obama has embraced it. At a 2012 fundraiser in Atlanta, he said, "You want to call it 'Obamacare' -- that's OK, because I do care."
The president acknowledged in November the role the law's name was playing in the health care debate, and said it could get a new etymology in the future.
“I know health care is controversial, so there’s only going to be so much support we get on that on a bipartisan basis until it’s working really well, and then they’re going to stop calling it Obamacare,” Obama said. “They’re going to call it something else.”
How will Trump’s administration impact you? Learn more