The White House Blog: The President

  • "I'm a Republican, and You Should Get Covered"

    Mark D. Bearden is a retired psychologist living in Monroe, North Carolina. In February, he wrote a letter to the President letting him know what the Affordable Care Act has meant to him. The message below was sent to the White House email list today.

    Didn't get the email? Be sure to sign up here.


     

    I am a staunch Republican, a self-proclaimed Fox News addict, and I didn't vote for the President. And I'm here to tell you that Obamacare works. I'm living proof.

    I'm a chemotherapy patient, and was previously paying $428 a month for my health coverage. I was not thrilled when it was cancelled.

    Then I submitted an application at HealthCare.gov. I looked at my options. And I signed up for a plan for $62 a month.

    It's the best health care I have ever had.

    So right now, here's what I want to tell anyone who still needs health insurance, or knows someone who does:

    Sign up. Follow the instructions on the website. Apply, and look at your options. You still have time, and take it from me: This is something you want to do.

    I wrote a letter to President Obama this past February to tell him about my experience with the Health Insurance Marketplace. I hoped he'd read it, and he did.

    I may not be a supporter of the President. But now, I get mad when I see Obamacare dragged through the mud on television.

    And even though I regularly tune in to conservative pundits, I'd like to tell them they're getting it wrong. Obamacare works.

    So one more time: If you still need health insurance, you have just three days to get it. Do what I did. Go to HealthCare.gov, submit an application, and pick a plan that works for you.

    It just might change your life.

    Mark D. Bearden, Ph.D.
    Monroe, North Carolina


  • A Strategy to Cut Methane Emissions

    In June 2013, President Obama gave a speech at Georgetown University where he laid out both the case for action on climate change and the steps his Administration will take to address it. The Climate Action Plan that the President announced includes steps to cut carbon pollution, help prepare the United States for the impacts of climate change that are already on the way, and continue American leadership in international efforts to combat global climate change.

    In his Climate Action Plan, President Obama directed the Administration to develop a comprehensive, interagency strategy to cut methane emissions. Today, the White House released the Climate Action Plan – Strategy to Cut Methane Emissions. Learn more about the strategy in the fact sheet below, and check out the full Strategy here.

    Dan Utech is the Special Assistant to the President for Energy and Climate Change.


    FACT SHEET: Climate Action Plan – Strategy to Cut Methane Emissions

    With an all-of-the-above approach to develop homegrown energy and steady, responsible steps to cut carbon pollution, we can protect our kids’ health and begin to slow the effects of climate change so we leave a cleaner, more stable environment for future generations. That’s why last June, President Obama issued a broad-based Climate Action Plan, announcing a series of executive actions to reduce carbon pollution, prepare the U.S. for the impacts of climate change, and lead international efforts to address global climate change.


  • Day 4: The President Travels to Italy, Meets with Pope Francis

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    Today, President Obama headed to Italy, continuing his five-country trip across Europe and Saudi Arabia.

    The President started off the day at the Vatican, where he had an audience with His Holiness Pope Francis. This was President Obama's first time meeting Pope Francis, and the two "had a wide-ranging discussion," the President said.

    "I would say that the largest bulk of the time was discussing two central concerns of his," said the President. "One is the issues of the poor, the marginalized, those without opportunity, and growing inequality. ... And then we spent a lot of time talking about the challenges of conflict and how elusive peace is around the world."


  • Day 3: President Obama Heads to Belgium, Speaks on U.S.-Europe Relations

    President Barack Obama delivers remarks at the Palais Des Beaux Arts (BOZAR) in Brussels, Belgium, March 26, 2014.

    President Barack Obama delivers remarks at the Palais Des Beaux Arts (BOZAR) in Brussels, Belgium, March 26, 2014. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

    Today, President Obama traveled to Belgium — the second leg of his five-country trip to Europe and Saudi Arabia.

    At the Palais des Beaux Arts (BOZAR) in Brussels, the President talked at length about the relationship between the United States and Europe. He discussed the history shared by the two regions, and how best to preserve the values and ideals that are central to the relationship.

    “I come here today to insist that we must never take for granted the progress that has been won here in Europe and advanced around the world,” because the contest of ideas continues, President Obama said. “And that’s what’s at stake in Ukraine today.


  • The Minimum Wage and Tipped Minimum Wage: Important Tools to Lift Wages and Reduce Poverty, Particularly for Women

    Over the past 30 years, modest minimum wage increases have not kept pace with the rising costs of basic necessities. Moreover, the tipped minimum wage—the portion of wages that employers must cover for tipped workers—has fallen steadily in value since 1991, and is now at historically low levels.
     
    Raising the minimum wage to $10.10 an hour and indexing it to inflation, while also increasing the tipped minimum wage, would have particular benefits for women. The following are four key points from a new report by the National Economic Council, Council of Economic Advisers, Domestic Policy Council, and Department of Labor. The full report discusses these four important facts in more detail:


  • The President Wants You to Get Covered Today: "Don’t Just Think About It, Just Do It"

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    There are only 5 days left to get health insurance coverage for 2014 at HealthCare.gov before open enrollment ends on March 31. If you haven’t signed up yet, the President wants you to get covered today.

    As the President says, “No one’s invincible. We all get sick, or get into accidents. Life happens. But you should never have to worry you’ll lose everything to medical bills. That’s why health insurance is so important.”

    If you’re not covered, don’t wait any longer — sign up today.

    And if you already have health insurance, tell your friends, family, and co-workers that they need to get covered, too. Visit WH.gov/GetCovered for tips on how to spread the word.


  • Wrap Up: President Obama's Second Day in the Netherlands

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    Today, President Obama wrapped up the second and final day of his stay in the Netherlands, the first stop on a five-country trip to Europe and Saudi Arabia.


  • President Obama Travels to the Netherlands, Meets with World Leaders

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    President Obama landed in the Netherlands early this morning, kicking off a week-long trip in which he will also travel to Belgium, Italy, the Vatican, and Saudi Arabia.

    The President's first stop was the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam, a national museum for arts and history, which he toured with Netherlands Prime Minister Mark Rutte. Following the tour, the two held a bilateral meeting and discussed a number of issues, including climate change, global security challenges, and the Transatlantic Investment Partnership between the EU and the U.S.


  • The President Answers Questions About Health Care from the Quora Community

    Today, President Obama answered questions on Quora, a leading question-and-answer website, about Affordable Care Act enrollment and how the law affects young people across America.

    The deadline to enroll for health care coverage for this year is March 31 — only seven days from now — so if you're not covered yet, sign up today at HealthCare.gov. And if you do have health insurance, make sure to tell your friends, family, and co-workers why they need to get covered. Visit WH.gov/GetCovered for tips on how to spread the word.

    Read the President's responses to Quora users' questions below.


    Q: Why has ACA enrollment accelerated so much over the past few months? What changes did the White House make to make enrollment faster and easier?

    A: First of all, if you still need to sign up for health insurance, you should go to HealthCare.gov right now and sign up for coverage. You've got just seven days left until the March 31st deadline. It’s last call for 2014 if you want to be covered this year.

    Now, it's no secret to anyone that we had some issues with the website at launch. But that was months ago. Thanks to a team of experts who worked around the clock to get the site working back then, response times on HealthCare.gov are faster than ever. Most young people are eligible for financial help to make health insurance more affordable. And more than 5 million people have already signed up for coverage -- with tens of thousands more signing up every day.


  • Weekly Address: Rewarding Women's Hard Work and Increasing the Minimum Wage

    In this week’s address, President Obama highlights the importance of making sure our economy rewards the hard work of every American – including America’s women.

    Transcript | mp4 | mp3