The White House Blog: The President

  • This Day in History: Seven Score and 11 Years Ago...

    This Day
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    In History

    On November 19, 1863, speaking at the Gettysburg National Cemetery in Pennsylvania, President Abraham Lincoln gave one of his most iconic speeches -- the Gettysburg Address.


    What Was the Gettysburg Address All About?

    As it turns out, President Lincoln wasn’t actually intended to be the keynote speaker. He attended the ceremony to dedicate a cemetery for fallen Union soldiers who had fought in the Battle of Gettysburg. After the initial keynote speaker Edward Everett -- a popular orator at the time -- spoke for two hours, President Lincoln gave a two-minute speech highlighting the overarching purpose of the Civil War.


  • President Obama Holds a Meeting on Ebola, Discusses Attacks in Jerusalem

    Watch on YouTube

    This morning, President Obama met with his national security and public health teams at the White House to discuss the latest news about Ebola and our ongoing response in West Africa.


  • The President Wraps Up Trip in Burma, Heads to Australia

    President Obama Walks Toward Air Force One in Burma

    President Barack Obama walks towards Air Force One past honor guards and a group of representatives from Burmese ethnic groups before departing from Naypyitaw International Airport in Burma. November 14, 2014. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

    President Obama has spent the week traveling in China, Burma, and Australia to help further the U.S. rebalancing strategy and his firm belief that our economic ties to the Asia Pacific region are integral to America's economic growth.

    After securing a historic agreement with China to reduce carbon pollution, the President traveled to Naypyitaw and Rangoon, Burma for the East Asia Summit, the U.S.-ASEAN Summit, and for a bilateral meeting with Burmese President Thein Sein. 

    Two years ago, President Obama became the first American president to visit this country. On this visit, both Presidents discussed the progress that Burma has made in the pursuit of a more open democracy and the work that's left to do: 


  • Welcoming the G20's Commitment to Stop Ebola and Strengthen Global Health Security

    We have consistently said that Ebola is an urgent global challenge requiring an urgent and commensurate global response.  Earlier today, Leaders of the G20—a collection of the world’s largest economies—answered that call from their ongoing summit in Brisbane, Australia. They committed to continued and intensified action to end the Ebola epidemic in West Africa and pledged to assist others to achieve needed health security capacity to prevent, detect and rapidly respond to future outbreaks before they become epidemics.

    The communique commends the extraordinary international commitments and cooperation toward the Ebola response to-date, while urging countries around the globe—as well as international organizations and the private sector—to do their part. The statement also goes one step farther to achieve global implementation of the World Health Organization International Health Regulations, which over 40 countries and 17 G-20 members have now pledged to accelerate through the Global Health Security Agenda.


  • Letters to the President: Marla and the Affordable Care Act

    Every day, thousands of Americans write the President about the issues that matter most to them -- and my job is to help sort through them. This post is part of a series that will help highlight the stories of Americans who have written the President about the Affordable Care Act and what it means to them. Starting November 15, you can visit HealthCare.gov to shop for and enroll in a plan that works for you.

    The voices of people across America inform the President and give him invaluable perspective on the progress we've made -- as well as the work we've got left to do. If you want to write the President yourself, you can do that here.


    “We tentatively read each plan’s offerings, and were very surprised by the quality of the coverage being offered. These plans offered much better coverage than we had previously.”

    President Barack Obama participates in a photo line at Cheesman Park in Denver, Colorado, July 9, 2014. This is letter writer Marla Morine of Ft. Collins, CO.

    President Barack Obama participates in a photo line at Cheesman Park in Denver, Colorado, July 9, 2014. This is letter writer Marla Morine of Ft. Collins, CO. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)



  • Weekly Address: Open Enrollment Starts Today

    President Barack Obama tapes the Weekly Address in the Roosevelt Room of the White House, Nov. 6, 2014

    President Barack Obama tapes the Weekly Address in the Roosevelt Room of the White House, Nov. 6, 2014. (Official White House Photo by Lawrence Jackson)

    In this week’s address, the President reminded Americans that Affordable Care Act open enrollment begins this weekend. In the past year, more than 10 million people have gained health insurance, including more than 7 million who enrolled in Health Insurance Marketplace coverage. They are proof that the Affordable Care Act is working, making health care more affordable, accessible, and of higher quality for millions of people.

    The President encouraged all Americans to take advantage of open enrollment, and remind their friends and families to do so as well.

    Transcript | mp4 | mp3


    Need to get covered? Find a health plan that best fits your needs at HealthCare.gov.

    Already covered? Commit to help someone you know get covered here.


  • The Faces of Health Care: Art M.


    "On the last day of 2013, I signed up for health insurance through the Affordable Care Act, and was able to afford it thanks to a subsidy. Lens replacement surgery in both my eyes have been successful, and my vision has returned to what it was like 30 years ago. Thank you, thank you, thank you!"


    Art turned 65 this year. For most of his life, he worked as a copywriter at an advertising firm in Elkhart, IN. But when recession hit, he lost his job. So for the last 6 years, he's been working without health insurance as a freelance writer and substitute teacher. In that time, he developed cataracts in his eye that were so inhibiting that his doctor said he could not drive at night. Contact lenses and glasses didn't help, but he couldn't afford the $12,000 surgery and medical care needed to get rid of them for good. 

    But thanks to the Affordable Care Act, he signed up for insurance on New Year's Eve in 2013 and was able to afford the surgery in both his eyes. 

    If you need insurance, see what the Health Insurance Marketplace has to offer you at HealthCare.gov. Already covered? Commit to help get someone you love covered today

    Read more stories about Americans whose lives are being made better by health reform.


  • What They're Saying About the President's Plan to Protect Net Neutrality

    More than any other invention of our time, the Internet has unlocked possibilites we could barely fathom a generation ago and has provided an equal platform for new generations to define our future. That is why President Obama is urging the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to implement the strongest set of rules that will protect the principle of net neutrality and ensure an open and free Internet for all. 

    Americans across the country -- and the world wide web -- were quick to express strong support for the President's plan. Here's a look at what just a few people -- from congressmembers and reporters to technology experts and Internet platforms like Netflix and Tumblr -- have to say about the President's support for net neutrality: 


  • Getting Ready for Open Enrollment:

    Ed note: This is cross-posted from the Department of Health and Human Services' blog.


    With just two days to go until the start of Open Enrollment, I want to share with you what we've been doing at the Department of Health and Human Services to expand access to quality, affordable coverage to more people and to lay the groundwork for a successful Open Enrollment.

    First, we're committed to improving the consumer experience.

    We've listened to feedback and have put that learning into practice. Most consumers who come back to HealthCare.gov to renew their coverage will find about 90% of their application is pre-populated, based on answers from last year. Consumers who are renewing coverage, as well as consumers shopping for coverage for the first time, will have 25% more options to choose from on average. That means consumers can shop and find a more affordable plan that better meets their needs. And we've added 1,000 representatives to our 24-hour call center to answer questions and help consumers get and stay covered.


  • Letters to the President: The Dicksons and the Affordable Care Act

    Every day, thousands of Americans write President Obama about the issues that matter most to them -- and my job is to help sort through them. This post is the first in a series that will help highlight the stories of Americans who have written the President about the Affordable Care Act and what it means to them. Starting November 15, you can visit HealthCare.gov to shop for and enroll in a plan that works for you.

    The voices of people across America inform the President and give him invaluable perspective on the progress we've made -- as well as the work we've got left to do. If you want to write the President yourself, you can do that here.


    “Because we now have access to affordable healthcare, we have now signed a long-term lease to open a retail business in Georgetown, Texas.”

    --Russ and Linda Dickson


    President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama meet with Texans who wrote letters to the President about the Affordable Care Act (ACA), at the Lyndon B. Johnson (LBJ) Presidential Library and Museum in Austin, Texas, April 10, 2014. Participants inc

    President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama meet with Texans who wrote letters to the President about the Affordable Care Act (ACA), at the Lyndon B. Johnson (LBJ) Presidential Library and Museum in Austin, Texas, April 10, 2014. Participants include: Linda Dickson (52) with Russ Dickson (60) [husband] (antique store owners). (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)