(Editor’s disclaimer: This article was written partially based on materials on federal government websites accessed in early Jan. 2017 and initially referenced here. However, these websites were deleted by the incoming administration. The author’s references have been removed because they are no longer accurate.)
by Meshach M.
Barack Obama was President of the United States from January 20, 2009 to January 20, 2017. In those eight years he and his administration oversaw some of the greatest changes in American history, from unprecedented advancements in technology to international agreements to reduce global carbon outputs. This article will outline some of the major accomplishments that Barack Obama made while he was sitting President of the United States.
Throughout his presidency, Obama advocated for national health care and on March 23, 2010 he signed The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. It was later taken under review by the Supreme Court and voted to be constitutional on June 28, 2012. The bill includes provisions such as that applicants cannot be denied coverage due to preexisting conditions, there can be no limit to the amount of care a patient receives, and there can be no discrimination based on gender. The bill also allowed people with lower incomes to receive lower rates on their health insurance.
Obama was also instrumental in the Paris Climate Agreement, where in 2016 more than one hundred and ninety countries came together to establish long-term plans for worldwide carbon output reduction. The hope was that by establishing these agreements the most devastating effects of global climate change could be avoided.
Under Obama’s presidency, pollution standards were put in place to cut carbon emissions within the U.S. from what they were in 2005 by 32%. The first-ever bills were also passed that regulated toxic pollutants such as arsenic and mercury from power plant emissions.
On an international front, Obama secured a “multilateral deal” to insure that Iran will not be able to obtain nuclear weapons. He also worked to increase cyber security and become more vigilant in stopping cyber attacks aimed at the United States and its allies.
When Obama became president, the United States was in the midst of an economic recession. He worked to assist the people who had been hardest hit by that recession. He pushed for programs that saved roughly 5.3 million more people from falling below the poverty level. He also took measures to make it easier for people to stay in their homes by helping struggling families to refinance their mortgages.
There were many social changes made under the Obama administration as well. The Defense of marriage act was repealed leading to the Supreme Court’s “decision holding this act unconditional” and thus making same sex marriage legal everywhere in the United States. He was the first sitting president to visit a federal prison. Obama also made great strides to cut veteran homelessness by 50% through working with local communities, and he made efforts to push for extensive background checks on any and all gun sales.
These were just some of the many highlights of the work that Obama performed in his eight years on office. May he be remembered well.