If you’re looking for an indication of just how divided Minnesota’s House is these days, you needn’t look any further than this afternoon’s Health and Human Services Reform committee meeting.
Rep. Steve Gottwalt presented his Freedom of Choice in Health Care Act to the committee. But after referring to “Obamacare,” during the discussion, the St. Cloud Republican was quickly admonished by New Hope DFLer Sandra Peterson.
“I’m not sure where I am on the federal health care reform issue,” Peterson said. “But I keep hearing the reference to Obamacare. Is that the real term of it? Is that the real name of the bill? Because it offends me just a little bit to have that repeated time and time again. I don’t know yet whether I agree with the bill or not. But I believe we call it, in this body, by its real name.”
Gottwalt said that he made an initial reference to the “so-called Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.” But he made no apologies for “Obamacare.”
“I understand that it may be offensive to some people,” Gottwalt said. “But that is a very commonly used term that helps people understand what legislation we’re talking about… I think its been referred to as that by people of no particular political persuasion and from both sides of the aisle.”
Peterson offered no quarter. “I do think we ought to use the correct names in here… When we’re discussing legislative issues, I think we ought to use the correct terminology.”
And that was that.