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Last Night on Late Night

Jimmy Kimmel quizzes people about Obamacare vs. the Affordable Care Act

Most people still seem to think they’re two different things

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ABC

Following the presidential election of Donald Trump, the Republican Party now has control of the federal government — and they’ve made it clear that one of their top priorities will be repealing (and possibly replacing) the Affordable Care Act. Whether or not these are indeed the final days of President Barack Obama’s signature policy achievement, they are nevertheless marked by the same media confusion and bad branding that have haunted the law since its inception. Back in 2013, Jimmy Kimmel asked people on the street about the differences between the ACA and Obamacare, finding that many people did indeed believe them to be two separate programs, rather than different monikers for the same thing. Now that the law’s back in the news, Kimmel produced a sequel video on Tuesday — and encountered the exact same situation.

The question Kimmel’s team asked people was, “Do you support Obamacare or the Affordable Care Act?” Often, the answers indicated the person’s individual word associations, rather than their policy preferences. One guy, for instance, said he supported the ACA because his girlfriend is a Trump supporter who hates Obama, so he just goes along with her. The last guy, by contrast, said Obamacare was better than the ACA because “Obama’s tight.” He also admitted to being “pretty stoned,” but the sober interviewees seemed just as confused as him. One guy thought the difference was literally “you pay for your health care, or Obama pays.” The number of people who still don’t fully understand the ACA’s role in their lives portends potential disaster if it’s repealed — and also offers a lesson in the importance of good branding.

Watch the clip below.