Obama defends legacy in letter to American people

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WASHINGTON: US President Barack Obama acclaimed his outgoing administration’s accomplishments on Thursday in a letter to the American people defending a legacy on health care and other issues that his successor Donald Trump has vowed to dismantle.

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The White House released the president’s letter along with reports from each of his cabinet secretaries describing the progress made since Obama took office eight years ago with the world’s largest economy spiraling towards depression.

“As I prepare to pass the baton and do my part as a private citizen, I’m proud to say that we have laid a new foundation for America,” he said.

He cited the turn-around in the US economy, the scaled back military operations in Afghanistan and Iraq, a sharply reduced dependence on foreign oil, and the Paris climate agreement as among his administration’s important accomplishments.

But near the top of his list was the Affordable Care Act, the signature health care reform that Democrat Obama prizes and Republican Trump has vowed to ditch.

Obama has launched a parting offensive to try to save it, making a rare visit to Congress on Wednesday to rally Democrats for what is shaping up as the first major fight of the next administration.

Vice President-elect Mike Pence made his own trip to Capitol Hill to strategize with Republicans, who control the House and Senate and will have the White House as well once Trump takes office on January 20.

“The first order of business is to repeal and replace Obamacare,” Pence told reporters in the US Capitol shortly after meeting with House Republicans.

Trump himself has cautioned against over-hasty action.

“Republicans must be careful in that the Dems own the failed ObamaCare disaster,” the president-elect said on Twitter, warning Republicans to allow it to “fall of its own weight.”

In his letter, Obama argued that the United States has “begun the long task of reversing inequality.”

“What won’t help is taking health care away from 30 million Americans, most of them white and working class; denying overtime pay to workers, most of whom have more than earned it; or privatizing Medicare and Social Security and letting Wall Street regulate itself again—none of which middle-class Americans voted for.”

Obama’s reforms came under fire during the US presidential campaign as insurance premiums rose and some major insurers backed out of the state markets created under the law.

But elements of Obamacare remain popular, notably the provisions barring companies from refusing coverage due to pre-existing conditions and allowing children to retain coverage on family plans through to 26 years of age. AFP

AFP/CC

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  1. The American people have spoken. They do not want Hilary to be the extension of Obama. They trust Donald J. Trump to make America Great Again! Once upon a time President Reagan restored the American Dream. This is akin to Reagan’s legacy. The American people are now watching how the incoming president will perform his Agenda — restore employment, deport aliens who are criminals, build the walls, strengthen the military, establish peace and order, regain the respect of other nations, lower the trade deficits by shaping up business transactions with China. Obama could do nothing anymore, but sleep well. Obama likes vacations and delivering speeches, playing golf,etc. Obama got now plenty of time, while his security and his family are being financed by the American taxpayers, like me. I would suggest to the incoming president to do the American taxpayers a great favor. How about lowering the overhead of the past presidents and past vice presidents so that the savings will be returned to the treasury of the United States. The regular Americans can not even have a good life with their social security benefits, while these wealthy past presidents and their families are enjoying luxury at the expense of the common American taxpayers. Include in cost cuttings the members of the legislative body and the Supreme Court. Include also the other high government officials in cost cutting. These people have been contributors to the deficit of the treasury of the United States. Include in the cost cutting also the current servants or employees of the US government, Federal and Local. I believe Donald can do it!