WOTY 2009 nominations

Fri Jan 8 20:56:13 UTC 2010

        One error I noticed on the list was the definition of "public
option," a candidate for WOTY and, inexplicably, for Most Euphemistic:
"A government-run healthcare program, desired by some to be part of the
country's healthcare reform."

        Actually, "public option" refers to a government-run health
insurance program, provided as an alternative to private health
insurance programs.  It's the difference between the government paying
the bills, as an insurance company does, versus actually providing
health care, as the Veterans Administration does.  In a quick look, the
earliest use I see is by Senator Ben Cardin (D - Md) in a Senate hearing
on 1/25/2007:

        <<The law requires that all of the Medicare D programs be by
private insurance. There is no governmental insurance option.

        Statistics indicate that a federal program in health has a much
lower administrative cost than private health care plans. I'm curious as
to whether we, if we offered a public option, whether that would have an
impact on some of the cost issues. And one way in which we could perhaps
bring down the cost of Medicare D, as we do, of course, on the other
parts of Medicare where the government provides and private insurance
can also provide.>>

John Baker

-----Original Message-----
From: American Dialect Society [mailto:ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU] On Behalf
Of Benjamin Zimmer
Sent: Friday, January 08, 2010 8:16 AM
Subject: WOTY 2009 nominations

Greetings from Baltimore. Grant Barrett has posted the results of last
night's nominating session for Word of the Year / Word of the Decade


The final vote will take place this evening at 5:30.

--Ben Zimmer

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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