18. Barack Obama: America's First Black President

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Since 2008, Barack Obama has been president of the United States of America. He is a historic figure primarily because he is the first African American to hold the position of president. His policies have gained him many supporters, as well as many detractors. He is possibly one of the most divisive presidents to govern the country in the history of the United States. Obama is a representative of the Democratic Party with his presidency coming after the controversial George W. Bush left office.

One of the defining aspects of his presidency is the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, commonly and inaccurately called Obamacare. This act, passed into law by the U.S. Congress and signed by the president in March 2010, became effective on January 1, 2014. It is the single, most significant change in government healthcare since Medicare was implemented in 1965. This act was intended to increase the affordability of care for Americans, expand insurance coverage, and lower the uninsured rate in the country. It is a controversial act that has many detractors, but most Americans now carry health insurance, which was not true before 2014.

Obama was born in Honolulu, Hawaii in 1961. He is a graduate of both Columbia University in New York City, and Harvard Law School. Before becoming president, he served as senator for the state of Illinois. He is considered a liberal by many southern conservatives, but this may be an unfair label. The perception is largely due to the Affordable Care Act, and his attempts at immigration reform. Additionally, Obama ended the U.S. involvement in the Iraq war. He also ordered the military operation that eventually resulted in the death of Osama Bin Laden. Obama was reelected as president in November, 2012.

      

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