#RouhaniCare Buzz
As the Iranian President’s address to the nation was underway Your Middle East’s Iran correspondent coined the trending hash tag #RouhaniCare, a replicate of the US President healthcare initiative dubbed ObamaCare. © Twitter
#RouhaniCare Buzz
Last updated: February 6, 2014

#RouhaniCare Buzz

Banner Icon Media As the Iranian President’s address to the nation was underway Your Middle East’s Iran correspondent coined the trending hashtag #RouhaniCare, a replicate of the US President healthcare initiative dubbed ObamaCare.

During a televised address to the nation on Wednesday night Iranian President Hassan Rouhani announced that the government would extend medical insurance to include all Iranians. The first step would be to cover 5 million uninsured Iranians by the social safety net.

Your Middle East’s Iran correspondent Alborz Habibi was watching the President’s speech tweeting updates in English. “Rouhani hinted at an insurance and health care program,” Habibi explains and adds, “Then I joked and used RouhaniCare hashtag on Twitter.”

Habibi tweeted,

Alborz Habibi ‏@AlborzHabibi
"Our 1st step in health care: We want all ppl be covered by insurance" #RouhaniCare?

And a few minutes later Rouhani’s Twitter account followed in his footsteps,

Hassan Rouhani ‏@HassanRouhani
Gov will extend medical insurance to all Iranians. First step will be to cover 5mn uninsured Iranians by the social safety net #RouhaniCare

The hashtag, a replicate of the US President Barack Obama’s health care initiative ObamaCare, quickly trended on Twitter. 

Habibi, unaware of the Twitter trend his hash tag would bring, says, “The hashtag was widely used, simply making it a public relations success for the President's powerful public diplomacy team that in my view has been doing a great job since elections. Indeed this is how opinion polls in US can be influenced.”

The hashtag also poked satirical reactions…

Trita Parsi ‏@tparsi
Obama must sue for trademark violation... "@HassanRouhani: Gov will extend medical insurance to all Iranians. #RouhaniCare" @jimsciutto

Karl Sharro ‏@KarlreMarks
My theory was correct, Rouhani is Obama! https://twitter.com/KarlreMarks/status/426297139799801856 … #RouhaniCare

While another Twitter user asked if the website would work… 

Arron Reza Merat ‏@a_merat
BUT WILL THE WEBSITE WORK? #Rouhanicare 

Rouhani’s English Twitter and Facebook channels are not run by the President himself, the frequent online updates are instead “written by my friends,” Rouhani told media at the recent World Economic Forum in Davos.

Christine Petré
Christine Petré is an editor at Your Middle East. You can follow her work at www.christinepetre.com.
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