Saturday, November 1st, 2014

Name That Health Plan winners announced

Besides the winners, we also liked Czar Permanente and Extreme Healthcare Makeover: Homeland Edition.
Besides the winners, we also liked Czar Permanente and Extreme Healthcare Makeover: Homeland Edition.

The entries for our Name That Health Plan contest covered the spectrum from serious to funny, from silly to angry.

As you'll recall, we started the contest because we couldn't remember the name of the Democratic health care plan we'd been writing so much about. It dawned on us that neither the White House nor the Democrats had given the plan a name — or at least one that people could remember. So we decided that we'd do the naming for them.

In the spirit of bipartisanship (or maybe, hyper-partisanship!), we sought the most creative names in two categories, one for supporters and one for opponents, plus a bonus category for the best mashup or acronym.

We got more than 150 entries that covered the spectrum from laughing-out-loud funny to let's-hope-these-people-don't-have-weapons angry. The entries were reminders of something we see every day at PolitiFact — that our political debate is sharply polarized.

There were plenty of creative ideas from both sides.

Supporters tended to be more serious with their entries, suggesting names that sounded like ones the White House might actually use. We got many entries that cast the health plan in patriotic terms, including AmeriCare (from more than a half-dozen readers), AmeriHealth, AmericAid and AmeriAssurance.

We also got several entries that suggested the goal of universal coverage: AllCare, MediPlan Unlimited, Rx-Health 4ALL and the All-American Plan (Get it? All Americans?)

We heard from lots of fans of Sen. Edward Kennedy, who suggested variations on his name as a tribute: the Ted Kennedy Healthy America Bill, the Edward Kennedy Health Plan, and TeddyCare, which we think has great mascot potential (a teddy bear, perhaps?).

Our judges liked entries that had some humor: Pay Less, Die Less (Aren't those really the goals?), LoveThyNeighbor Care, and Spread the Health. (Don't tell Joe the Plumber about that one.)

Our winner, from Catheleen Jordan of Arlington, Texas, creatively combined the Obama campaign slogan with a health care twist: YesWeCare!

So congratulations to Catheleen!

Meanwhile, the opponents of the plan brought a sharp (and sometimes biting) wit to their entries.

Many invoked the Republican complaint that Obama and the Democrats are expanding government: the  F.R.E.E.  L.U.N.C.H. Act (For Reform, Everything for Everyone, Literally Universal, No Cost However), Shut Up and Pay Up, Big Brother Care and Big Brother Is Healing You . We also got variations on Medicare, including MediScare and MedioCare. (They said it was suggesting "mediocre.")

Some played off the allegations about death panels ( the Granny Extermination Package ), while others invoked government-run health care in other countries ( CanadaCare: Part Deux ).

We also got several that played off the president's name — ObamaCareless, ObummerCare.

The judges particularly liked entries that made their points with some wit: Czar Permanente, which invoked the big HMO Kaiser Permanente with a dig against the White House czars. We also liked Extreme Healthcare Makeover, which came with several variations, including Extreme Healthcare Makeover: Homeland Edition.

The winner, from Richard M. Mallardi of Roswell, N.M., was a fun entry that combined a familiar name with a tweak about big government: State Arm Insurance.

So congratulations to Richard!

Finally, we chose a winner in our bonus category for best mashup/acronym, from Derek White of Hampton, Va.: America's Affordable Health Choice Options act of 2009, which abbreviates (somewhat loosely) to "Aahchoooo!"

So to Derek, congratulations . . . and Gesundheit!

The winners will be sent their PolitiFact prize packs next week. And we've already come up with our prizes for our next contest: PolitiFact Snuggies!