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Barack Obama Just Set Another Presidential First

…And schooled everyone in the process

On Monday, President Barack Obama became the first sitting president in American history to author an academic paper.

An article titled, “United States Health Care Reform: Progress to Date and Next Steps,” published under the name, “Barack Obama, JD,” in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) defends the Affordable Care Act with extensive support of its progress.

In summation, the paper presents the facts regarding Obamacare and recommends how the next president could continue to improve upon US health care. Obama writes, “Since the Affordable Care Act became law, the uninsured rate has declined by 43 percent, from 16.0 percent in 2010 to 9.1 percent in 2015, primarily because of the law’s reforms.”

Obama continues on to acknowledge that, notwithstanding opposition, the nation has come a long way following implementation of the Affordable Care Act; however, there is work yet to be done. He writes:

“Despite this progress, too many Americans still strain to pay for their physician visits and prescriptions, cover their deductibles, or pay their monthly insurance bills; struggle to navigate a complex, sometimes bewildering system; and remain uninsured.”

The president then suggests a few ways in which the next POTUS could perpetuate this founded progress, including providing a “public option” for more affordable health care coverage in comparison to existing plans offered by private companies. Obama also mentions the need for the federal government to lower the cost of prescription drugs.

Though the article is not peer-reviewed, as most JAMA-published journals, Editor-in-Chief Howard Bauchner confirmed the piece went through multiple rounds of editing and fact-checking prior to publishing. Bauchner told Bloomberg, “While we of course recognized the author is the president of the United States, JAMA has enormously high standards and we certainly expected the president to meet those standards.”

Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton has been vocal throughout the 2016 presidential race about her support for taxpayer-funded insurance options, positioning herself in line with Obama’s suggestions outlined in the essay. Presidential candidate Donald Trump, however, has vowed to repeal the Affordable Care Act should he be voted into office.

In the conclusion of the article, President Obama writes:

“I will repeat what I said 4 years ago when the Supreme Court upheld the ACA: I am as confident as ever that looking back 20 years from now, the nation will be better off because of having the courage to pass this law and persevere. As this progress with health care reform in the United States demonstrates, faith in responsibility, belief in opportunity, and ability to unite around common values are what makes this nation great.”

Read President Barack Obama’s full academic journal here.

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