The White House Blog: The President
Extending Emergency Unemployment Insurance: "More Than One Million Americans Across the Country Will Feel A Little Hope Right Away."Posted byon January 7, 2014 at 6:28 PM EDT
Katherine is a nursing home administrator who is currently unemployed -- and who has relied on unemployment insurance to pay her bills and stay financially afloat for the past few months. She is a college graduate, and a single mom with two sons -- both of whom are serving in the military. Since losing her job, she has lost 15 pounds, and keeps her home at 58 degrees just to cut costs -- she wears a coat and hat indoors at all times.
She wrote to the President last month, and she told him this: "Please let those who think I am sitting at home enjoying being unemployed know that I would much rather be working."
Katherine introduced the President today before he delievered remarks calling on Congress to pass a bipartisan plan to temporarily extend emergency unemployment insurance.
Because when members of Congress went home for the holidays two weeks ago, they failed to renew emergency unemployment insurance -- taking away a vital lifeline for 1.3 million Americans like Katherine who are currently looking for work. Temporarily extending this insurance would provide immediate relief to those folks, and would prevent millions more unemployed Americans and their families from getting hurt this year.
- Posted byon January 4, 2014 at 7:00 AM EDT
In this week's address, President Obama said Congress should act to extend emergency unemployment insurance for more than one million Americans who have lost this vital economic lifeline while looking for a job. Letting emergency unemployment insurance expire not only harms American families, but it is also a drag on the overall economy. The President urges both parties to pass the bipartisan three-month extension under consideration in the Senate so that we can once again focus on expanding opportunities for the middle class and creating jobs for all hardworking Americans.
- Posted byon January 3, 2014 at 3:30 PM EDT
As we move into 2014 we'd like to take a quick look back with you at some of our favorite moments, large and small from the 2013 White House video library. There was quite a bit to choose from, but we were able to narrow it down to 10. Take a look in this years edition of "Best of the West (Wing Week)."
- Posted byon January 1, 2014 at 1:30 PM EDT
As we ring in the start of 2014, today millions of Americans across the country will finally have the security and peace of mind that comes from having quality, affordable health insurance coverage. Today is the first day that coverage kicks in for more than 6 million people who purchased private health insurance plans through the Marketplaces, or signed up for coverage through Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program.
One of those Americans is Trinace Edwards, who was diagnosed with a brain tumor shortly after being laid off and losing her insurance. Unable to work or afford private insurance, she has not received treatment. Her daughter Lenace, a student at the University of Maryland, had considered dropping out of school in order to help pay for her mother’s bills.
When Trinace began shopping for coverage after the Health Insurance Marketplace opened, she learned she would be eligible for coverage through Medicaid. Starting today, Trinace can get the health care she needs, without forcing her daughter to give up on her dreams.
In October, President Obama met with a group of Americans – including Trinace and Lenace – who are benefitting from the Affordable Care Act. Watch what the mother and daughter had to say to him about what the law means for their family.
- Posted byon December 25, 2013 at 7:00 AM EDT
In this week’s address, President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama wish everyone a Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays.
- Posted byon December 23, 2013 at 12:00 PM EDT
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 12:49 PM EDT
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 7:00 AM EDT
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 8:02 PM EDT
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 1:00 AM EDT
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.