The 44th President of the United States of America, Barack Obama, is known as one of the most influential people in the world. The marks we leave behind are all that matter, and there are certain things were changed during Obama’s presidency.
- Affordable Care Act (Obamacare)
The ACA did a significant role in cementing some new principles in the health care of Americans. Health insurance has become mandatory for all US citizens, being part of a bargain grand which was prohibiting companies from refusing coverage based on pre-existing conditions, subsidizing premiums to the residents who could not afford them, requiring mental health to be covered just as physical ailments are covered comprehensively.
20 million more Americans were insured, with the rate of uninsured residents dropping to 12% all the way from 20%. A lower percentage of the healthcare cost significantly inflated than in recent decades.
- Normalized US relations with Cuba
December 2014 marks the restoration of full diplomatic ties between the US and Cuba. The US reopened its embassy in Cuba, the very first significant step to normalize the relationship between the two countries. It was also the first time in 54 years that the American flag flew in Havana, with a promise of cutting loose the shackles of the past. Doing business in Cuba and making easy travels were enabled following the momentous occasion.
- Iran Nuclear Deal
The United States had been rolling out sanctions and covert actions in efforts to prevent arch-foe Iran who wanted to obtain a nuclear weapon; this had been happening for more than two decades. With Obama’s regime, he operated on a different track where he had secret talks with the Islamic Republic.
His efforts bore fruits, where Iran halted its sprint towards the nuclear weapon, and in return obtain international legitimacy as well as a substantial sanctions relief. The pact was straining US relations with enemies of Iran Saudi Arabia and Israel, but preventing in the Middle East a nuclear arms race and defusing tensions that existed between Iran and the US which have been simmering since the Islamic Revolution of 1979.
- Passing of the Dodd-Frank Act
Obama adopted this act to hold Wall Street accountable in case of another financial crisis. He proposed reforms to the industry in 2009, creating multiple agencies to monitor financial markets, and regulating hedge funds as it intervenes avoiding a repeat of 2018 crisis.
- The economy was transformed
Obama took office at one of the worst economic times in the history of US. Focusing intensely on measures designating to either prevent the worsening of financial condition or strengthening the economic recovery when it came. The views of Americans on the economic situation improved significantly. In 2009, 23% of Americans testified better financial statuses than the year before, while in 2016, the percentage rose to 44%.
Businesses ended up adding 13.7 million new jobs within the 69-month streak of growth of work. The unemployment rate figures fell to 5%.
- The auto-industry bailing out
Chrysler and General Motors neared bankruptcy in 2008 which risked the loss of jobs of near one million people, as well as collapsing of part suppliers which would have affected the health of the healthy Ford Motor Company. Restoration of employment and stabilization of the automobile industry was achieved by Obama creating a task force which gave $80.7 billion in federal funds to the two companies on condition that they both formally file for bankruptcy, shift retirement benefits administration to an independent trust, and streamline their operations.
- Education deals and bipartisan budget
Partisan bickering had reached a fever pitch in Washington. Obama thereby chose highlighting two bipartisan legislative achievements. Pointing to a No Child Left Behind sweeping education overhaul as well as a budget deal avoiding a government shutdown threat, referring them to as ‘a pair of Christmas miracles in Washington.’
- Social and Values Issues
The number of American residents who considered themselves very liberal or liberal on social issues increased markedly. In the year 2009, around a quarter of the population saw themselves as liberal. By 2016, the fraction raised to a third of 32%. The legal acceptance of same-sex marriage is an excellent example of this, with the Supreme Court ruling legalized gay marriage.
- Obama urged states in 2013 to raise the minimum wage to $10.10 an hour, and since then, Washington, D.C and 18 states have responded
- The Trans-Pacific Partnership
The former president sealed a legacy-defining deal which involved 12 Pacific Rim countries, providing to ensure intellectual property, cut trade barriers, protecting environmental interests and labor.