Barack Obama just became the first sitting president to publish a scholarly article.
The article, titled “United States Health Care Reform: Progress to Date and Next Steps,” was published by the Journal of the American Medical Association.
The piece, which contains 68 footnotes to academic journals and government publications, claims to present evidence showing that the number of Americans without health insurance has dropped dramatically, and resulted in lower hospital readmission rates. Obama also used the article to recommend the introduction of a “public option” plan in parts of the U.S. and for the federal government to push down drug prices.
Reporters and scholars took to Twitter to note the President’s initiative:
— Rebekah, PDXfoodlove (@rebekahahubbard) July 12, 2016
Obama now calling for public option in article published in JAMA (Obama JAMA has a nice, nerdy ring to it) https://t.co/s3uFhWwwLr
— Sy Mukherjee (@the_sy_guy) July 11, 2016
That'll help JAMA's impact factor. https://t.co/QLVv7dekMv
— jeremy faust (@jeremyfaust) July 11, 2016
While publication in JAMA is widely regarded as an impressive accomplishment, some may wish to take Obama’s contribution with a grain of salt since it was not peer-reviewed and appears with a title of “special contribution.” Nonetheless, according to JAMA editor-in-chief Howard Bauchner, the article went through a two months of fact-checking and multiple edits and revisions.
“While we of course recognized the author is the president of the United States, JAMA has enormously high standards and we certainly expected the president to meet those standards,” Bauchner told Bloomberg.
Obama recommends future policies that will expand the Affordable Care Act, make prescriptions less expensive and introduce a public option plan for health insurance.
Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton seems more in-tune with Obama’s health care policies and has thrown her support behind expanding taxpayer-funded insurance options. Presidential candidate Donald Trump has vowed to repeal the Affordable Care Act if elected.