Trumpcare is the only thing Trump doesn't want to splash his name all over. Here's why.
President Donald Trump has put his name on multitudes of products during his decades in business: buildings, vodka, wine, water, steak, neckties and more. It's usually in all caps — TRUMP — and often in gaudy gold.
But what about the American Health Care Act, the bill that Republicans released earlier this week to replace the Affordable Care Act?
Well, White House officials don't want Trump's name anywhere near that thing.
"I'll call it Trumpcare if you want to, but I didn't hear President Trump say to any of us, 'Hey, I want my name on that,'" White House counselor Kellyanne Conway said on Fox News on Wednesday, arguing that health care is "serious business" and "isn't about branding according to someone's name."
White House press secretary Sean Spicer similarly backed away from the "Trumpcare" label during his Tuesday briefing with reporters.
"We're less concerned with labels right now and more in terms of action and results," Spicer said.
And Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price?
"I prefer to call it patient care," Price said on Tuesday.
There's good reason for the Trump White House to shy away from embracing the "Trumpcare" label: tying health care legislation to the president comes with extreme political risk. Health care policy is complicated (something Trump appeared to learn just last week). Any changes to the system will ultimately have negative consequences for some segment of the population.
Democrats owned all of the issues with the Affordable Care Act, despite the fact that experts say just 3% of Americans face higher costs because of the plan, according to the New York Times.
In the case of the AHCA — the official name of "Trumpcare" — those negative impacts will likely hit seniors and poor Americans, whom experts say will see higher costs and lower subsidies if the GOP bill passes. And Trump and his party will own all of those negative sentiments — especially if the changes become known as Trumpcare.
Republicans know this better than anyone. They ran with the Obamacare label for years, using it to win control of both chambers of Congress, and even the presidency. But after seven years of railing against Obamacare, Trump and the GOP have finally caught the car.
And as conservative commentator Jim Geraghty wrote in National Review on Thursday, "It is very easy to promise a better health care system with no compromises and trade-offs; it is pretty much impossible to deliver it." Geraghty said that's something "Trump is no doubt learning."