The White House Blog: The President

  • 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


  • West Wing Week 3/21/14 or, “24 Soldiers”

     

    This week, the President celebrated St. Patrick's day alongside the Prime Minister of Ireland, continued to work toward a diplomatic resolution to the conflict in Ukraine, hosted Palestinian President Abbas, awarded 24 Medals of Honor, and traveled to Florida to speak on the importance of supporting working families.


  • Weekly Wrap Up: FLOTUS in China, March Madness, and More

    This week, the President filled out his NCAA tournament brackets and awarded the Medal of Honor to 24 veterans. The First Lady departed for China and visited the Forbidden City. See what else you missed in this week's weekly wrap up.


    POTUS Fills Out His Brackets

    For the sixth straight year, the President filled out his brackets for the NCAA men’s and women’s basketball tournaments. On the men’s side, he has Louisville, Michigan State, Florida, and Arizona headed to the Final Four, with the Spartans winning it all.

    Too bad the President also had Duke going all the way to the Elite Eight.


  • Improving Economic Opportunity for Women and Working Families

    Watch on YouTube

    This afternoon, President Obama traveled to Orlando to talk about improving economic opportunity for America's women and working families.

    Speaking at Valencia College, where more than half of the students (56 percent) are women, the President explained that women face "particular challenges" in our economy:

    Women make up about half of our workforce. ... In fact, for more than two decades, women have earned over half of the higher education degrees awarded in this country. So that means soon, for the first time, America’s highly educated workforce will be made up of more women than men. 

    But the thing is, our economy hasn’t caught up to that reality yet. So we’ve got too many women who work hard to support themselves and their families, including the 20 percent of women enrolled in college who are trying to raise kids while earning a degree, and they’re facing unfair choices or outdated workplace policies that are holding them back. That has to change — because it holds all of us back.


  • President Obama Updates the American People on the Situation in Ukraine

    Watch on YouTube

    Today, President Obama updated the American people on the situation in Ukraine and the steps the United States is taking in response.

    Over the last several days, we’ve continued to be deeply concerned by events in Ukraine. We've seen an illegal referendum in Crimea; an illegitimate move by the Russians to annex Crimea; and dangerous risks of escalation, including threats to Ukrainian personnel in Crimea and threats to southern and eastern Ukraine as well. These are all choices that the Russian government has made -- choices that have been rejected by the international community, as well as the government of Ukraine. And because of these choices, the United States is today moving, as we said we would, to impose additional costs on Russia.

    Based on the executive order that I signed in response to Russia’s initial intervention in Ukraine, we’re imposing sanctions on more senior officials of the Russian government. In addition, we are today sanctioning a number of other individuals with substantial resources and influence who provide material support to the Russian leadership, as well as a bank that provides material support to these individuals.


  • As Families Gather Around the Nowruz Table, President Obama Speaks to the People and Leaders of the Islamic Republic of Iran

    As families and friends gather around the Sofreh-e Haft Sin to celebrate Nowruz, President Obama extends his best wishes for the new spring and new year.

    In his message, the President speaks directly to the people and leaders of the Islamic Republic of Iran about the possibility for the first time in many years of a new chapter in the history of Iran and its role in the world – including a better relationship with the United States and the American people.  The President is clear that if Iran meets its international obligations with regards to its nuclear program, it will open up new possibilities and prosperity for the Iranian people for years to come. 

    Eid-e Shoma Mobarak.

    Transcript (Persian)

    Transcript (English)


  • President Obama's Bracket for the 2014 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament

    President Barack Obama fills out his 2014 NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Tournament bracket during an ESPN interview with Andy Katz in the Map Room of the White House, March 18, 2014.

    President Barack Obama fills out his 2014 NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Tournament bracket during an ESPN interview with Andy Katz in the Map Room of the White House, March 18, 2014. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

    Happy March Madness everyone!

    Yesterday, for the sixth straight year, President Obama sat down to fill out his brackets for the NCAA men's and women's basketball tournaments -- and talked a little "Barack-etology" with ESPN's Andy Katz.

    The President has Louisville, Michigan State, Florida, and Arizona headed to the Final Four.

    Get excited Michigan State fans: The President picked the Spartans to beat the Louisville Cardinals in the National Championship game on April 7.

    Share President Obama's Bracket on Twitter


  • President Obama Awards the Medal of Honor to 24 Army Veterans

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      President Obama awarded 24 Medals of Honor during a ceremony in the East Room of the White House, March 18, 2014. (WH Photo by Chuck Kennedy)

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      President Obama presents the Medal of Honor to Specialist Four Santiago J. Erevia during the Medal of Honor ceremony. (WH Photo by Amanda Lucidon)

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      President Obama presents the Medal of Honor to Staff Sergeant Melvin Morris during the Medal of Honor ceremony. (WH Photo by Amanda Lucidon)

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      President Obama presents the Medal of Honor to Staff Sergeant Melvin Morris during the Medal of Honor ceremony. (WH Photo by Chuck Kennedy)

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      President Obama presents the Medal of Honor to Sergeant First Class Jose Rodela during the Medal of Honor ceremony. (WH Photo by Lawrence Jackson)

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      President Obama recognizes honorees Staff Sgt. Melvin Morris, Sgt. 1st Class Jose Rodela, and Spec. 4 Santiago J. Erevia. (WH Photo by Pete Souza)

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      President Obama presents the posthumous Medal of Honor for Spec. 4 Alvarado. The award is accepted by his daughter. (WH Photo by Pete Souza)

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      President Obama presents the posthumous Medal of Honor for Pvt. Cano. The award is accepted by his daughter. (WH Photo by Amanda Lucidon)

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      President Obama presents the posthumous Medal of Honor for Pfc. Lara. The award is accepted by his brother. (WH Photo by Chuck Kennedy)

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      President Obama presents the posthumous Medal of Honor for Master Sergeant Negron. The award is accepted by his daughter. (WH Photo by Amanda Lucidon)

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      President Obama presents the posthumous Medal of Honor for First Lieutenant Schwab. The award is accepted by his son. (WH Photo by Pete Souza)

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      President Obama presents the posthumous Medal of Honor for Sgt. Nietzel. The award is accepted by his cousin. (WH Photo by Pete Souza)

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      President Obama presents the posthumous Medal of Honor for Pfc. Leonard. The award is accepted by his daughter. (WH Photo by Amanda Lucidon)

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      President Obama presents the posthumous Medal of Honor for Staff Sgt. Mendoza. The award is accepted by his wife. (WH Photo by Pete Souza)

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      President Obama presents the posthumous Medal of Honor for Sgt. Weinstein. The award is accepted by his wife. (WH Photo by Amanda Lucidon)

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      President Obama presents the posthumous Medal of Honor for Pvt. Vera. The award is accepted by his nephew. (WH Photo by Pete Souza)

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      President Obama presents the posthumous Medal of Honor for Sgt. Garcia. The award is accepted by CSM Michael Grinston. (WH Photo by Chuck Kennedy)

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      President Obama presents the posthumous Medal of Honor for Cpl. Baldonado. The award is accepted by his brother. (WH Photo by Pete Souza)

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      President Obama presents the posthumous Medal of Honor for Spec. 4 Duran. The award is accepted by his daughter. (WH Photo by Chuck Kennedy)

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      President Obama presents the posthumous Medal of Honor for Spec. 4 Copas. The award is accepted by his daughter. (WH Photo by Pete Souza)

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      President Obama presents the posthumous Medal of Honor for Pvt. Gandara. The award is accepted by his niece. (WH Photo by Amanda Lucidon)

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      President Obama presents the posthumous Medal of Honor for Staff Sgt. Conde-Falcon. The award is accepted by his son. (WH Photo by Pete Souza)

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      President Obama presents the posthumous Medal of Honor for Cpl. Espinoza. The award is accepted by his son. (WH Photo by Pete Souza)

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      President Obama presents the posthumous Medal of Honor for Sgt. Gomez. The award is accepted by his nephew. (WH Photo by Pete Souza)

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      President Obama presents the posthumous Medal of Honor for Pvt. Rivera. The award is accepted by his granddaughter. (WH Photo by Pete Souza)

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      President Obama presents the posthumous Medal of Honor for Master Sergeant Pena. The award is accepted by his son. (WH Photo by Chuck Kennedy)

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      President Obama presents the posthumous Medal of Honor for Pfc. Kravitz. The award is accepted by his niece. (WH Photo by Pete Souza)

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      Tina Duran-Ruvalcaba and Lenora Alvarado embrace. Each accepted the Medal of Honor awarded posthumously to their fathers. (WH Photo by Pete Souza)

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    This afternoon, President Obama awarded the Medal of Honor to 24 Army veterans in recognition of their valor during major combat operations in World War II, the Korean War, and the Vietnam War.

    Each veteran honored today had already received the Distinguished Service Cross – the nation's second-highest military award – but 19 of them were previously overlooked for the Medal of Honor due to their racial or ethnic backgrounds. Today's ceremony follows a 12-year Pentagon review, ordered by Congress, of past discrimination in the military.

    "No nation is perfect," the President said at today's ceremony. "But here in America, we confront our imperfections and face a sometimes painful past, including the truth that some of these soldiers fought and died for a country that did not always see them as equal."

    At the ceremony, the President awarded the Medal of Honor to three living veterans, and 21 other veterans received the honor posthumously. Read more details on today's recipients here.


  • 14 Days Left to Get Covered: A Different Kind of Bracket

    The message below went out to the White House email list this afternoon. Didn't get it? Make sure you sign up for updates from the President and other White House officials.

    And if you still need health insurance, go to HealthCare.gov and get enrolled today.

    Note: Looking for President Obama's 2014 NCAA tournament bracket?


    President Obama loves basketball -- he loves to play the game, and he loves to watch it at all levels.

    And every March, just like millions of college hoops fans, he sits down to fill out his bracket. It's something of a ritual around here -- and in the years when Georgetown's been knocked out before the Sweet 16, the President couldn't wait to give me a hard time for picking them to advance.

    But basketball isn't the only important thing happening this month: Open enrollment ends in just 14 days, and we need your help getting folks covered.

    So as you're filling out your basketball bracket, we put together another bracket -- featuring the 16 "sweetest" reasons to get covered. And yes, for good measure those reasons come with animated GIFs of cute animals, because the Internet loves GIFs of cute animals (and why not?).

    By helping to decide the winner, you'll also be spreading the word to millions of Americans about the importance of getting covered. Vote on your favorite reason -- and we'll tally up your votes all week.