Stephanie Tyo

By Shimla Rahman

The Mirror
Photo Editor

“Rosa sat so that Martin could walk; Martin walked so that Obama could run; Obama ran so that our children could fly,” wrote Khari Mosley in the Pittsburgh Post Gazette.

Ode to Obama


Stephanie Tyo


PHOTO BY
Flickr

OPINION: A champion of minority rights and affordable healthcare rides into the sunset after completing his 8-year term as president


“Rosa sat so that Martin could walk; Martin walked so that Obama could run; Obama ran so that our children could fly, “ wrote Khari Mosley in the Pittsburgh Post Gazette.

The first African-American president of the United States will end his eight-year term in the White House on Jan. 20, 2017.

As a man who grew up fatherless in his childhood and witnessed discrimination against other African Americans, Barack Obama recognized the struggles of the middle class and has strived to alleviate the economic and financial stress they were experiencing throughout his presidency.

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, more popularly known as ObamaCare, was signed into law by President Obama on March 23, 2010 and endorsed by Supreme Court in 2012. The health care reform’s goal was to cover millions of people who were uninsured, refine the quality of healthcare and health insurance, manage the healthcare industry, and minimize its spending. ObamaCare accomplished this through taxes and regulations.

According to Obamacarefacts.com, 44 million American individuals were uninsured in 2013. ObamaCare was meant to help these people, often the working poor obtain health insurance by expanding Medicaid eligibility and by offering financial assistance by a way of health insurance marketplaces. Less than 13% of Americans were without health insurance by the end of 2014.

And in 2014, roughly 17% of Americans got a Health Insurance Marketplace (ObamaCare) plan for $100 or less, and 87% of these people who chose a plan received cost assistance. Less than 10% of the population was uninsured by 2015.

Finally in 2016, 70% of returning marketplace customers were able to get a plan for less than $75 a month. It is predicted that in 2017 this will remain the same because cost assistance is based on income.

Large employers had to provide health coverage for those who worked full-time and aren’t covered by funded private insurance or the expansion of Medicaid eligibility.

Despite the critical remarks, ObamaCare did manage to accomplish the health care needs of uninsured Americans. It significantly cut health care cost growth, a major longstanding financial dilemma of America.

In addition, more than 15 million private-sector jobs have been included since Obamacare was signed into law in 2010. This health care reform helped divert America’s fixation on convenience and profit to the wellbeing and health of its citizens.

The Affordable Care Act also expanded the life of Medicare because of its cost savings and reduced expenses. It provided secure and stable insurance for Americans.

Furthermore, on a more social scale, insurance companies cannot discriminate anyone because of a prior condition and cannot to reject someone because he or she is lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender.

Barack Obama also made numerous triumphant social changes and strived to protect the rights of minorities in addition to economic attainments.

On June 2016, Obama proclaimed the month to be a time celebrate LGBTQ pride and called upon Americans to end any discrimination and appreciate “the great diversity of the American people.” In the same month, same-sex marriage was legalized and states were forbidden to ban it.

By supporting marriage equality, advancing the rights of the LGBTQ community, allowing transgender students to use bathrooms and locker rooms that correspond to their gender identity, and naming Stonewall — the place where the modern gay-rights movement began — a national monument, Obama has helped America move forward in celebrating and appreciating its diversity. By being the first President of the USA who embraces the LGBTQ community, he marked an era in which everyone feels safe, secure, and welcomed to be an American citizen and are encouraged to not be someone who they are not because they are valued for being who they are.