The White House Blog: The President
- Posted byon December 23, 2013 at 11:00 AM EST
Ten years ago, skyrocketing premiums forced Nancy Beigel to choose between paying rent and paying for health insurance. She dropped her coverage and has been uninsured since then.
When she was diagnosed with cancer in 2009, a doctor told her it would be nearly impossible to find new coverage, since she now had a pre-existing condition. She pays out of pocket for her health care, but has many medical bills she can’t afford to pay off.
Nancy shared her story with President Obama, and told him she’d been “counting the days” until she could buy coverage through the Health Insurance Marketplace, where insurance companies couldn't turn her down due to her pre-existing condition. See what else she had to say in the video below, or watch on YouTube.
- Posted byon December 22, 2013 at 11:49 AM EST
This week, we will be celebrating the season by taking you behind the scenes as the White House is transformed into a Yuletide masterpiece with the help of volunteers from across the country. We will also stop into a news conference the president held before he departed for the Hawaiian island of Oahu to have a "Mele Kalikimaka" with family and friends. That's December 20th to Christmas Eve, or "The Holiday Card Edition."
- Posted byon December 21, 2013 at 6:00 AM EST
In his weekly address, President Obama highlights the bipartisan budget agreement that unwinds some of the cuts that were damaging to the economy and keeps investments in areas that help us grow, and urges both parties to work together to extend emergency unemployment insurance and act on new measures to create jobs and strengthen the middle class.
- Posted byon December 20, 2013 at 7:02 PM EST
This afternoon, President Obama held his last press conference of the year from the White House briefing room. Before taking questions from the media, he discussed our economic progress over the last year, and laid out the work ahead for 2014.
In 2013, our businesses created another 2 million jobs, adding up to more than 8 million in just over the past 45 months. This morning, we learned that over the summer, our economy grew at its strongest pace in nearly two years. The unemployment rate has steadily fallen to its lowest point in five years. Our tax code is fairer, and our fiscal situation is firmer, with deficits that are now less than half of what they were when I took office. For the first time in nearly two decades, we now produce more oil here at home than we buy from the rest of the world, and our all-of-the-above strategy for new American energy means lower energy costs.
The Affordable Care Act has helped keep health care costs growing at their slowest rate in 50 years, and even as the Administration works diligently to address issues with HealthCare.gov, more than one million Americans have selected new health insurance plans through the federal and state marketplaces since October 1. "More than half a million Americans have enrolled through healthcare.gov in the first three weeks of December alone," President Obama said.
"And you add that all up and what it means is we head into next year with an economy that’s stronger than it was when we started the year," he said. "More Americans are finding work and experiencing the pride of a paycheck. Our businesses are positioned for new growth and new jobs."
"I firmly believe that 2014 can be a breakthrough year for America," President Obama said, offering some proof that the new year is already off to a good start: this week, for the first time in several years, both parties in both houses of Congress came together to pass a budget. And there are other areas where we can work together, he said, beginning with restoring the temporary unemployment insurance that helps people make ends meet when they are looking for a job.
"Because Congress didn’t act, more than one million of their constituents will lose a vital economic lifeline at Christmastime, leaving a lot of job-seekers without any source of income at all," he said. "I know a bipartisan group is working on a three-month extension of this insurance. They should pass it, and I’ll sign it right away."
- Posted byon December 20, 2013 at 12:00 AM EST
This week, the White House honored those lost at Sandy Hook on the one year anniversary. The President met with newly elected mayors and executives from America's leading technology companies, discussed the benefits of health care reform with a group of moms, and celebrated the holidays with Christmas in Washington.
- Posted byon December 19, 2013 at 1:31 PM EST
On Wednesday afternoon, President Obama and the First Lady met with a group of moms (and one aunt!) in the Oval Office to talk about how health reform has benefitted their families. They talked about the critical role that moms are playing in helping their families access quality, affordable health care by encouraging their adult children, family members and their peers to sign up for coverage.
Because many women in the group know first-hand why having the security of health insurance is so important, they’ve been working tirelessly to make sure that everybody in America is able to get high-quality health care coverage that provides them with financial protection and looks after them when they get sick.
“I think this conversation really drove home in a very personal way why this is important,” President Obama said. “Sometimes here in Washington, this is a very abstract conversation or an entirely political conversation. But when you boil it down to stories and people hear what it means to have the security of solid health insurance at an affordable price when you need it, it reminds me at least of why we've been fighting so hard to get this done.”
- Posted byon December 14, 2013 at 6:00 AM EST
In his weekly address, President Obama honors the memory of the 26 innocent children and educators who were taken from us a year ago in Newtown, Connecticut.
- Posted byon December 11, 2013 at 12:43 PM EST
On Tuesday, four American Presidents traveled to Johannesburg to pay tribute to the former South African President, Nelson Mandela. As President Obama addressed the crowd, and greeted Madiba’s extended family of South African citizens, I was reminded of a more intimate gathering earlier this year.
In November, 2013, President Obama invited members of the Mandela family to the White House for a screening of "Long Walk to Freedom," a film based on Mandela's autobiography. Take a look at this short video, featuring informal reflections by the President, the Mandela family, the former U.S. Ambassador to South Africa, Donald Gips, and the film’s star, Idris Elba.
- Posted byon December 10, 2013 at 6:30 PM EST
Today in Johannesburg, President Obama joined leaders from the United States and around the world at a national memorial service for former South African President Nelson Mandela.
In President Obama’s remarks, he reflected on what Mandela meant to him personally, as well as to the people of South Africa, and urged all of us to remember Madiba’s legacy and contributions to humanity.
For the people of South Africa, for those he inspired around the globe, Madiba’s passing is rightly a time of mourning, and a time to celebrate a heroic life. But I believe it should also prompt in each of us a time for self-reflection. With honesty, regardless of our station or our circumstance, we must ask: How well have I applied his lessons in my own life? It’s a question I ask myself, as a man and as a President.
- Posted byon December 9, 2013 at 6:46 PM EST
In recent weeks, government affiliated armed groups and independent “self-defense” militias have committed shocking and horrific atrocities against innocent civilians in the Central African Republic. The United States is actively supporting the international community’s efforts to end the violence, protect civilians, prevent atrocities, provide humanitarian assistance, and help create an environment that allows constitutional and democratic governance to be restored.
In an audio message taped in Dakar, Senegal, today, President Obama sent a clear and important message to the people of the Central African Republic: that they should reject the violence currently threatening their country, and move together toward a future of security, dignity, and peace.