Monday, November 5, 2012

Thanks, President Obama

(This was adapted from the "Top Ten Reasons" blogs, written for Obama for American Minnesota. The whole list can be found at

Dear President Obama,


Because of Obamacare, my child cannot be denied coverage simply because he was born extremely premature, and insurance companies can no longer deny payment were he to reach an arbitrary cap. Because of Obamacare, millions of Americans no longer have to worry that our family’s future will be mired in endless fights with insurance companies over the health and welfare of our children, or that we might face bankruptcy due to unpaid medical bills.

Thanks for keeping young adults on their parents’ health insurance. Now they have more choices when they go out to look for a job, and their parents can feel good that they are continuing to provide health care safety and security to their grown children.

You do care, and that’s one reason why I am voting tomorrow for four more years, so that you can preserve the gains we have already achieved through the Affordable Care Act as well as make sure that the law is fully implemented.

And thanks. There’s no doubt you have always been surrounded by strong, caring, accomplished women. And as the father of two girls, I know women’s issues are important to you. You know that we cannot succeed as a nation if over 50% of our population still has to struggle for equal pay or defend our right to choose when we start a family.

Your accomplishments for women cross policy areas, from health care to jobs. Under Obamacare, being a woman is no longer a pre-existing condition, and women have access to preventative care like mammograms without copays or deductibles. In addition, women will gain access to birth control with no copay.

Thanks for supporting Planned Parenthood and the good work they do all over the country, ensuring that women have access to high quality, affordable care including cancer screenings and birth control. Thanks for believing that a woman’s health care choices are her own, and should be made with her doctor, not interfered with by politicians or employers.

Thanks for signing the “Lilly Ledbetter Equal Pay Act,” and for standing by making sure that women are payed the same amount as men for the same work. You know that equal pay is not just a women’s issue; it’s a family issue, and you know we have more to do, including passing paycheck fairness.

So, thanks.

And thanks. Even through my four-year-old is not involved in politics, if he’s anything like me, he’ll be active and involved when he’s 17 and voting in the midterms of 2026. That may sound like a long time from now, but thanks for knowing that we have to play a long game, instituting sound policy now that will benefit us far into the future.

It’s in all our best interests to make sure that the next generation has the chance to do as well as or better than their parents. The next four years will see opportunities to appoint new Supreme Court judges to oversee the law of the land as well as the full implementation of Obamacare.

I want to know that public schools will be strengthened and supported, and that young people will be encouraged to pursue a career in teaching because jobs have been created and incentives are in place. I want to know that Pell Grants will be available if my child needs them; that opportunities for jobs in technology, energy research and development, and manufacturing are there when he finishes his education.

Thanks, President Obama, for working toward a better future for our children.

Oh hey, I also want to say “thanks” because as the child of a transgender parent, I cannot stress this enough: you can be proud of your record on civil rights for LGBT Americans. You know that we all do better when we all do better, and as long as people are discriminated against because of who they love, we still have work to do.

That’s why you’re the first sitting president to support marriage equality for same-sex couples and why you repealed “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.” You acknowledge that millions of Americans are serving or want to serve their country and should not have to hide who they are to do so. You know that millions of American couples deserve the same considerations and rights as their opposite-sex counterparts.

Because of you, Mr. Obama, the federal government now extends key benefits to same-sex partners of its employees. You also signed the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act into law. In addition, your administration is no longer defending the Defense of Marriage Act, believing it to be unconstitutional.

Your accomplishments for the LGBT community are many, including banning discrimination in federal workplaces based on gender identity, ensuring hospital visitation and medical decision-making rights for gay and lesbian parents, and allowing transgender Americans to receive true gender passports without surgery.

So yeah, wow. Thanks.

I could go on and on, but you have a country to run and an election to win, so I’ll have to say goodbye without thanking you for ending the war in Iraq, reforming student loans, giving tax cuts to American families and small businesses, supporting math and science research and education, allowing states to opt out of No Child Left Behind, expanding renewable energy, passing the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, establishing the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, signing Wall Street Reform, strengthening our relationships with other countries, creating 5.3 million private sector jobs, appointing the first Latina to the Supreme Court, signing the new START Treaty with Russia, improving services to Veterans, and so much more.

You're a class act. I look forward to four more years, and...



Karen McCauley
Saint Paul, Minnesota