Education

War-Weary Obama Takes Break From President Job To Write 4,221-Word, 68-Reference Academic Treatise

Taking his cue from Romanian tyrant-spouse Elena Ceausescu, who tried to get people to believe she had written a 162-page doctoral dissertation in polymer chemistry, President Barack Obama has totally published a scholarly article about health-care reform in The Journal of the American Medical Association.

The prestigious journal published Obama’s article, entitled “United States Health Care Reform: Progress to Date and Next Steps,” earlier this week.

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The 4,221-word academic manuscript, which features 68 references and half a dozen handy charts, comes at a time when Obama is facing a number of thorny domestic and international issues, as well as various crises. (RELATED: Nobel Peace Prize-Winning Obama Has Been At War LONGER THAN ANY OTHER American President)

The article appears to be the first instance when a sitting U.S. president has claimed to spend valuable time writing pieces for a medical journal, notes Inside Higher Ed.

In the article, Obama, a law school graduate with an undergraduate degree in the liberal arts, scrutinizes the Affordable Care Act — “the most important health care legislation enacted in the United States since the creation of Medicare and Medicaid in 1965,” as he describes it.

Obama, who has no experience as a doctor or as a manager of any aspect of the U.S. health-care system, also dispenses advice to “improve the health care system.” And he offers “general lessons for public policy.”

The president declares in the article that the Affordable Care Act is rapidly expanding health-care insurance coverage to millions of Americans. (RELATED: 92,000 Colorado Residents May Lose Their Insurance This Year Due To Obamacare)

Obama also suggests that his signature legislation is improving competition in the health insurance marketplace. (RELATED: Obamacare Is Causing Insurers To Beg For Bailouts)

Before he was president or a U.S. senator, Obama was a non-tenure track lecturer at the University of Chicago Law School for 12 years. During much of that time, he also served an undistinguished Illinois state senator.

Obama published a previous article in The Journal of the American Medical Association just before he became president, in 2008. That piece was a brief op-ed called “Affordable Health Care for All Americans: The Obama-Biden Plan.” There were no graphs nor was there a single reference.

Though the Journal of the American Medical Association prides itself on being a peer-reviewed journal, Obama’s article was not peer-reviewed. The article was published as a “special communication,” notes Inside Higher Ed.

Nevertheless, the journal’s editor-in-chief, Howard Bauchner, swears that “the president was held to the same editorial standards that we would hold any author to.”

The journal also published a quartet of commentary pieces by actual academics in response to Obama’s article. They are generally rosy and they offer high praise of Obama’s political wisdom and academic acumen.

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