President Barack Obama looked to the future Tuesday night in his final State of the Union address, touching on issues ranging from health care and the economy to climate change, terrorism and military strength.
Obama touted the achievements of his seven years in office, and outlined how he thought his policies will help Americans for years to come.
The president delivered the nationally televised speech to a joint session of Congress as well as members of his Cabinet, U.S. Supreme Court justices, military officers and dozens of special guests.
Here, The Daily Signal provides more context for some of Obama’s claims.
Obama: “Nearly 18 million have gained [health] coverage so far. Health care inflation has slowed. And our businesses have created jobs every single month since it became law.”
Despite the president’s claim that more than 18 million Americans now have health insurance—credited to Obamacare’s implementation—the majority of those who gained coverage qualified for Medicaid because of loosened eligibility.
Since the health care law went into effect in 2013, 31 states and the District of Columbia have opted to expand Medicaid, the federal health program for the poor.
From January 2014 to July 2014, more than 8 million Americans gained coverage under the president’s signature health care law. However, 71 percent of those signups were attributed to Medicaid expansion.
Additionally, an October 2015 report found that though more than 9 million Americans gained health insurance in all of 2014, the Medicaid rolls swelled. Of the 9.25 million Americans who enrolled in health coverage, 97 percent—8.99 million Americans—received insurance through Medicaid.
For Americans who receive coverage through their employer or the individual market, many have been faced with skyrocketing premiums and deductibles. Premiums increased in 49 of the 50 states for 2016 on the individual market, with many premiums growing by double digits.
Obama: “More than 14 million new jobs; the strongest two years of job growth since the ’90s; an unemployment rate cut in half. Our auto industry just had its best year ever. Manufacturing has created nearly 900,000 new jobs in the past six years. And we’ve done all this while cutting our deficits by almost three-quarters.”
Though the deficit fell during Obama’s presidency, Romina Boccia, a senior budget analyst at The Heritage Foundation, said this can be attributed to the recovery following the 2008 recession and tax hikes on Americans.
Boccia also noted that Congress has cut spending, largely because of the caps put in place by the 2011 Budget Control Act. Still, in the years since they went into effect, Congress and the White House have weakened the caps.
Labor experts also argue that though the unemployment rate has fallen steadily, millions of Americans have left the workforce.
Obama: “We spend more on our military than the next eight nations combined. Our troops are the finest fighting force in the history of the world. No nation dares to attack us or our allies because they know that’s the path to ruin.”
In 2014, the U.S. accounted for more than…