Weekly Wrap Up: “Keep Moving Forward”
Talking Health Care at Boston’s Faneuil Hall: The President traveled to Boston’s historic Faneuil Hall on Wednesday to speak about the Affordable Care Act. Besides just being a beautiful landmark, Faneuil Hall is where Massachusetts’s bipartisan health care law was signed into law, which served as a model for the Affordable Care Act.
The health insurance marketplace, where Americans without insurance or those who buy plans on the individual market can shop for high-quality, affordable health insurance, was also built on the Massachusetts model, President Obama said.
Now, this marketplace is open now. Insurance companies are competing for that business. The deal is good; the prices are low. But, let’s face it, we've had a problem. The website hasn’t worked the way it’s supposed to over these last couple of weeks. And as a consequence, a lot of people haven’t had a chance to see just how good the prices for quality health insurance through these marketplaces really are.
Now, ultimately, this website, healthcare.gov, will be the easiest way to shop for and buy these new plans, because you can see all these plans right next to each other and compare prices and see what kind of coverage it provides. But, look, there’s no denying it, right now, the website is too slow, too many people have gotten stuck. And I am not happy about it. And neither are a lot of Americans who need health care, and they’re trying to figure out how they can sign up as quickly as possible. So there’s no excuse for it. And I take full responsibility for making sure it gets fixed ASAP. We are working overtime to improve it every day.
President Obama said he is confident these marketplaces will work, because Massachusetts – which also had early problems in implementing its law -- shows that the model works.
"It’s hard," President Obama said, “But it's worth it. It is the right thing to do, and we're going to keep moving forward. We are going to keep working to improve the law, just like you did here in Massachusetts.”
Read his full remarks here.
SelectUSA Investment Summit: The President joined Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker at the first SelectUSA Investment Summit on Thursday. Nearly 1,000 business leaders from across the world convened at the event. At the summit, the President spoke on the importance of investing in the United States. “There’s no substitute for those three proud words: ‘Made in America,’” the President said.
Swearing-In New FBI Director: On Monday, President Obama traveled to the FBI Headquarters for the swearing-in of James Comey as the seventh Director of the FBI. The President praised Comey’s commitment to justice and his dedication to the motto of the FBI – fidelity, bravery, and integrity. The President also said he’d fight to restore FBI resources that had been reduced by the sequester. “I’ll keep fighting for those resources because our country asks and expects a lot from you, and we should make sure you’ve got the resources you need to do the job,” he said.
Honoring former House Speaker Tom Foley: President Obama and Vice President Biden went to the Capitol on Tuesday for a memorial in honor of former House Speaker and Ambassador Tom Foley. Elected officials filled Statuary Hall to honor the leader who worked to find common ground with his colleagues across the aisle.
When we're standing outside these magnificent buildings, we have that sense of wonder and that sense of hope. And sometimes, the longer you're here, the harder it is to hang on to that. And yet, Tom Foley never lost it -- never lost that sense of wonder, never lost the sense of gratitude. What a privilege, he felt it was, to serve. And he never forgot why he came here -- on behalf of this nation and his state and the citizens that he loved and respected so much.
Read his remarks here.
Visit to National Domestic Violence Hotline: Vice President Biden visited the National Domestic Violence Hotline in Austin, Texas on Wednesday to commemorate Domestic Violence Awareness Month. In 1994, Vice President Biden helped found the National Domestic Violence Hotline with the Violence Against Women Act. During his visit, the Vice President toured the Hotline, met with advocates, and spoke about the importance of supporting domestic violence services. Visit www.thehotline.org for more information.
Celebrating Halloween: On Halloween, President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama handed out treats to local students and children of military families to the White House for the annual White House trick-or-treating celebration. In honor of the holiday, the White House was lit in orange and pumpkins decorated the South Lawn.
White House Fall Garden Viewing: Over the weekend, the White House welcomed visitors from across the country to tour the gardens and grounds. Visitors had the chance to view the Jacqueline Kennedy Garden, the Rose Garden, the South Lawn and the Kitchen Garden.
On Sunday, Instagram photo enthusiasts came to the White House for the first White House InstaMeet. After a tour of the grounds – where they got a surprise visit from Bo and Sunny - these Instagramers got to sit down with Chief Official White House Photographer Pete Souza. Check out some of the best photos from their tour here.
Sesame Street Encourages Fresh Food: On Wednesday, First Lady Michelle Obama joined Sesame Street’s Elmo and Rosita and announce that Sesame Street characters will be helping promote fresh fruits and vegetables to kids. As early as 2014, Sesame Street characters will be seen on produce in stores, which enables companies to use their characters to encourage kids to eat healthier. After the announcement, the First Lady, Elmo, Rosita, and Let’s Move! Executive Director Sam Kass met up with local students for the White House Kitchen Garden Fall Harvest.