“Yes we can.” These words, spoken by former President Barack Obama many times, were meant to bring us together as a nation and create hope for the future. These words were on the buttons of his supporters, written on the windows of houses, stuck to the bumpers of cars—they will be there long after Obama has left office.
Many expressed their unwillingness to let Obama go, but that’s how our government works. However, just because we have to see him leave the White House does not mean we have to forget his eight years of accomplishments as president.
One of his biggest successes was the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare. Since 2010, Obamacare has helped around 20 million people get health insurance who couldn’t afford it before. It also makes sure that insurance plans cover preventive services and immunizations so people with preexisting conditions such as diabetes or asthma can’t be turned away when looking for insurance. It also allows those 26 years and younger to remain on their parents’ plans until they can find their own.
There has been serious talk by Republicans about repealing Obamacare ever since it came into existence. And now that they have the majority, they have the power to get rid of it. However, they face the challenge of coming up with a decent replacement that won’t take insurance away from those who currently are insured through Obamacare. Hopefully, this will be one of Obama’s legacies that sticks around for a long time.
When Obama came into office, our country was in one of the biggest recessions in its history. Unemployment rates skyrocketed and housing costs plummeted along with family incomes. It took a while, but with the help of tax cuts as well as the president and Congress working together for change, jobs were created and unemployment dropped lower than pre-recession rates. Now we are in a better spot financially than we have been in years.
Obama also helped in the signing of the Paris Agreement, a pact between more than 190 countries that addresses climate change through measures such as diminishing the use of fossil fuels. Being one of the biggest greenhouse gas emitters, many were thrilled to see the U.S. supporting environmental protections for our planet. The next issue to address in the fight to preserve our planet is to educate those who don’t fully understand the threat that climate change poses.
Let’s not forget who led the strike against Osama bin Laden and won. It took years of preparation for the offensive attack, but once the Black Hawk helicopters went in, all that prep work paid off. The operation took 40 minutes total. Obama will always be remembered as the president who avenged the 9/11 attacks.
President Obama is a role model for many Americans. He worked with a Congress that did not want to compromise with him, he fought to keep the promises he made to the American people, and all the while, he was a loving father and husband. His contributions to our nation benefitted the lives of millions, and for that, we are grateful.