Blog Post

Obamacare in three words? Officials spar over Twitter

May 17, 2013

    Paige Baschuk, Daily Briefing

    Twitter gives you 140 characters to make your point. But this week, House Republicans and Democrats exchanged Twitter blows over the Affordable Care Act using just three words and the (fitting) hashtag "#ObamaCareInThreeWords."

    On Thursday, House Republicans voted symbolically to repeal the health law. (By most counts, it is the 37th time they have done so.) As part of their campaign against the legislation, they took to Twitter to rally some support for repeal, NPR reports.

    For example, Speaker John Boehner used the #ObamaCareInThreeWords hashtag to tweet "Repeal for jobs" and "Scares small businesses." House Majority Leader Eric Cantor posted "Run by IRS," "21 Tax Hikes," and "2000 IRS Agents”—making reference to the growing scandal over the improper targeting of conservative groups applying for tax-exempt status.

    Democrats did not stay silent on the issue, immediately picking up the hashtag and firing back with their own, pro-ACA tweets. They clogged the social media site with tweets such as "It’s.The.Law.," "No lifetime limits,"  and "Young adults covered."

    One group taking part in the Twitter trend had an entirely different approach: Health care journalists in the twittersphere had a little fun with the hashtag. Huffington Post's Jeffrey Young tweeted, "Endless press releases." The Washington Post's Sarah Kliff posted, "Affordable Care Act #ObamacareInThreeWords #Literal."

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