One of the things that Obama did-for at least for me-was a greater interest in politics. Sure, I grew up in the turbulent sixties and understood the importance of politics, but being an African-American it was always with a sense of not really belonging. Obama has cured that for me.
The ACA, signed into law that year, has been massively helpful. I have benefited from the free (co-copay) mammograms and the colonoscopy back in 2015 that found 3 polyps and had them removed. Such tests have become routine parts of health care now and no doubt have saved hundreds of lives (and certainly mine with the polyps). The nurses who helped me along the way with their information and encouragement helped me to get on track and then keep on track have helped too.
Add the inclusion of free vaccines, the electronic health records that meant that fewer drug interactions have taken place, and that every doctor I see are at least on the same page have also saved untold millions in money and lives.
For decades, gay people were routinely kicked out of the military because it was thought to be somehow bad for military cohension. Clinton had wanted to end the ban, but had to settle for “Don’t ask Don’t Tell” as a compromise with a GOP senate who were going to pass a Constitutional Amendment enshrining this. The ban was ended, and it proved that anti-gay animus has no basis in reality. Soldiers came out and served proudly, heroically-and the sky did not fall. When the sky did not fall on the military with open gay people, it was possible for gay marriage, openness in other areas, and Mayor Pete. And speaking of Mayor Pete, the most remarkable part of his candidacy, and probably a result of the overturning of the ban, was that his gayness was the least notable part of his candidacy.
It’s been true since Obama’s rise in general. Diversity is more taken for granted than ever before in politicians. And more electable. Simply running for office as a diverse candidate is no longer controversial-and many times they win.
ACA Signed Into Law