by Rommel Conclara, ABS-CBN News
DALY CITY, CA — Daly City Councilman Ray Buenaventura could not be prouder of outgoing President Barack Obama for a job well done as leader of the United States.
The Filipino democrat is confident that history will judge Obama’s presidency as a success, based on his accomplishments — now at risk, Buenaventura says, in the hands of the incoming President Donald Trump administration.
Buenaventura believes Obama’s greatest accomplishment is the Affordable Care Act, more commonly known as “Obamacare.”
Healthcare.gov reports that Obamacare accounts for the health insurance of over 20 million Americans.
“Five presidents have tried, and it is President Obama who has been successful,” he says. “It was very difficult to do. He had to build a coalition. He had to get people on the other side working for him.”
Republicans recently passed a measure in the House and Senate to begin the process of dismantling Obamacare — even if there’s no ready replacement just yet.
On the economic front, Buenaventura recalls that when Obama took office in January of 2009, the US was in the worst recession since the Great Depression.
But his administration’s American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 enabled government to save jobs and create new ones.
The current unemployment rate of 4.9 percent, is a significant decline from the 9.3 percent Obama dealt with in 2009.
And when one talks about national security — it was under the Obama administration when the world’s most-wanted terrorist, Osama Bin Laden, met his death in the hands of an American Seal team.
“We all know it was President Obama who killed Bin Laden,” said Buenaventura. “He was responsible for normalizing relations with Cuba. He’s responsible for the Iran nuclear deal. Now we have a deal that basically stops the Iranian government for nuclear capabilities, and that right now is up for major discussion.”
President-elect Trump has publicly criticized the Iran deal, while his pick for Secretary of Defense — retired US Marine Corps General James Mattis — supports the deal, and plans to enforce it.
Obama also endorsed the measure that paved the way for legalizing same sex marriage.
“President Obama was right about same-sex marriage, and the result is that people in same-sex marriages have the same rights. And that’s the way it should have been,” said Buenaventura.
While anyone can argue over Obama’s successes or failures, the Daly City councilman believes that most can agree, Obama followed through on his campaign of “hope and change.”