Former President Obama leaves a legacy of change behind him

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Former President Obama leaves a legacy of change behind him

Lauren Couch, Santa Fe Copy Editor

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On January 10, 2017, Barack Obama presented his farewell address filled with various accomplishments and changes he had made during his eight years in office. As we leave America in the hands of the newly inaugurated president, Donald Trump, I believe as a country we must recognize the beneficial additions to society and government enforced by former President Obama.

Obama established the Affordable Care Act (ACA) on March 23 of 2010 and it has affected millions across the United States. This act allowed for more benefits for women, young adult coverage, and the overall introduction to the concept of access to affordable, high quality health insurance. This act is vital for those with large medical bills that the average working citizen cannot pay for. This is important because those who can barely meet ends are not able to receive the care that is necessary. Before the ACA, nearly 47 million were uninsured (hhc.gov). After passing the bill, this statistic dropped to 28.5 million: a historic decrease that benefitted a wide variety of the population.

Another issue addressed by the former president was the climate predicament that has been a reoccurring problem throughout the world. Due to this, Obama took part in a global agreement on climate change; he signed for the United States to become a part of The Paris Agreement. Under this, all nations combine forces together in order to fight climate change while providing financial support to do so. This agreement acknowledges the effects of greenhouse gases in hope of limiting the temperature rise to below two degrees (unnfc.int.com). Global warming is a problem that should not be ignored as it is already negatively affecting the environment. Obama’s role in global change will help the United States be a part of a cleaner and more sustainable future.

Under Obama’s administration, nearly 15 million non-farm jobs have been created (money.cnn.com). The lowest point of employment in 2010 was a direct result of the Great Recession in 2007 that lost 5.5 million jobs. With the introduction of more job opportunities, the long-term unemployed statistic has dropped by 614,000 (factcheck.org). The financial crisis left an aftermath of destruction in the economy, but with Obama’s leadership, America made a drastic recovery.

Aside from political party beliefs, one must objectively view the substantial impact that the Obama administration made on our country. With America’s next chapter, I hope President Trump can extend Obama’s accomplishments and make way for changes that will improve our country.

 

 

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