Blog Archives

Pick of the Day: President Obama


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President Barack Obama walks from Marine One upon arrival on the White House South Lawn, July 5, 2016. The Photo was taken by Official White House photographer Lawrence Jackson. Photo Courtesy: The White House

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Love and Peace


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Illustration Courtesy: Ha’anala 76

President Obama’s visit to India


President Barack Obama participates in a traditional greeting with President Pranab Mukherjee and Prime Minister Narendra Modi following a ceremonial welcome at Rashtrapati Bhawan in New Delhi, India. January 25, 2015. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

President Barack Obama participates in a traditional greeting with President Pranab Mukherjee and Prime Minister Narendra Modi following a ceremonial welcome at Rashtrapati Bhawan in New Delhi, India. January 25, 2015. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

President Barack Obama participates in a ceremonial welcome at Rashtrapati Bhawan in New Delhi, India. January 25, 2015. (Official White House Photo by Lawrence Jackson)

President Barack Obama participates in a ceremonial welcome at Rashtrapati Bhawan in New Delhi, India. January 25, 2015. (Official White House Photo by Lawrence Jackson)

President Barack Obama toasts Prime Minister Naredra Modi during a State Dinner hosted by President Pranab Mukherjee at Rashtrapati Bhawan in New Delhi, India. January 25, 2015. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

President Barack Obama toasts Prime Minister Naredra Modi during a State Dinner hosted by President Pranab Mukherjee at Rashtrapati Bhawan in New Delhi, India. January 25, 2015. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama view the Republic Day Parade with President Pranab Mukherjee and Prime Minister Narendra Modi from the Rajpath saluting base in New Delhi, India. January 26, 2015. (Official White House Photo by Lawrence Jackson)

President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama view the Republic Day Parade with President Pranab Mukherjee and Prime Minister Narendra Modi from the Rajpath saluting base in New Delhi, India. January 26, 2015. (Official White House Photo by Lawrence Jackson)

President Barack Obama speaks with Prime Minister Narendra Modi during the Republic Day Parade at the Rajpath saluting base in New Delhi, India. January 26, 2015. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

President Barack Obama speaks with Prime Minister Narendra Modi during the Republic Day Parade at the Rajpath saluting base in New Delhi, India. January 26, 2015. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama view the Republic Day Parade with President Pranab Mukherjee and Prime Minister Narendra Modi from the Rajpath saluting base in New Delhi, India. January 26, 2015. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama view the Republic Day Parade with President Pranab Mukherjee and Prime Minister Narendra Modi from the Rajpath saluting base in New Delhi, India. January 26, 2015. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

President Barack Obama participates in a traditional greeting with President Pranab Mukherjee and Prime Minister Narendra Modi following a ceremonial welcome at Rashtrapati Bhawan in New Delhi, India. January 25, 2015. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

President Barack Obama participates in a traditional greeting with President Pranab Mukherjee and Prime Minister Narendra Modi following a ceremonial welcome at Rashtrapati Bhawan in New Delhi, India. January 25, 2015. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama wave to the crowd at the Rajpath saluting base following the Republic Day Parade in New Delhi, India. January 26, 2015. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama wave to the crowd at the Rajpath saluting base following the Republic Day Parade in New Delhi, India. January 26, 2015. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza) Pictures courtesy: The White House

The year’s best photos


The White House
All year long, official White House photographers are hard at work capturing Presidential moments for the history books.

And at the end of every year, Chief Official White House Photographer Pete Souza chooses the very best — from tens of thousands of images — for his Year in Photographs. The collection is full of deeply moving moments — from the serious and official, to the funny and behind-the-scenes.

You don’t want to miss this one: Check out the best images of 2014 and the stories behind them.

See this year's best photos.

Text and Photos Courtesy: The White House

An Ebola update from President Obama


President Obama spoke to the nation about Ebola — how the Administration is responding, and what you should know.

The Ebola virus is a public health and national security priority, and the President has directed the Administration to continue to take aggressive measures at every level of government.

President Obama reiterated that, while Ebola is a serious disease, Americans need to understand the facts and be guided by the science: Ebola is not easily transmitted. And we know how to fight it.

Watch President Obama, then find out what you need to know about the Ebola virus, and how the Administration is responding.

Watch President Obama and get the facts on Ebola here.

Have more questions? Here’s what public health officials want you to know.

Text and Video courtesy: The White House

American Budget 2015


The 2015 Budget Whiteboard

In case you missed it, the President released his Fiscal Year 2015 budget last week.

Brian Deese, Deputy Director of the Office of Management and Budget, is pretty handy with a dry-erase marker, and he took some time to sketch out the nuts and bolts of the President’s budget.

Want a better sense of exactly what’s in the budget? You should probably watch this whiteboard video.pic

Want to know how the President’s budget will continue to steadily bring down the deficit for the next ten years? You should watch this whiteboard.pic1Text and video courtesy: The White House

Photos: What my day looked like


ob3Hey, all —

On Tuesday, President Obama will deliver his fifth State of the Union address from the Capitol. He’s taking the lead on his own remarks, but as his chief speechwriter, I’ve been spending the week helping him craft what he wants to say.

Today I took over the White House’s Instagram account to give you a look inside the State of the Union process.

Take a look at some of today’s photos:

obob1ob2Several other folks here are going to be giving you updates on preparations this week, too — so stay tuned.

Thanks,

Cody

Cody Keenan
Director of Speechwriting
The White House

P.S. — If you haven’t already, say you’re in for the 2014 State of the Union.

Text and Photo Courtesy: The White House

From the First Lady Michelle Obama


Pic Courtesy:Alex Johnson/Flickr

Pic Courtesy:Alex Johnson/Flickr

Hello, all —

Today, I met a young man named Troy.

Troy comes from New Orleans, where his family lived through the devastation of Hurricane Katrina. He couldn’t read until he was twelve, and would regularly cut school because the other students would tease him. When he did attend, he’d shove desks, start fights — anything to get him out of class.

But then Troy saw his younger siblings start down a similar path. And he decided to make a change. He connected with his fifth-grade teacher, and enrolled in a program called the Urban League College Track. With the support of College Track and his teachers, he worked hard and made his way into high school — and today, he’s a sophomore at Bard College, studying American Literature.

There are a lot of kids like Troy out there — kids with all the potential in the world — but far too many of them are slipping through the cracks. They’re not making their way to college — maybe because their parents never went, or because they’ve never been encouraged to believe they could succeed there.

It’s on all of us to help change that.

That’s why today, Barack and I hosted college and university presidents, business leaders, philanthropists, and representatives from organizations around the country who are helping more of our kids see their potential and pursue their education. They’re helping them navigate the financial aid and college admissions process. They’re working with them to find schools that match their ability and interests. And they’ve made real, concrete commitments to help make college a reality for more kids.

And here’s the thing: You don’t have to be a university president or an executive to do that. There is something that each and every one of us can do in our communities to help make sure our kids realize their potential and make their way into higher education. That could mean having a conversation with a young neighbor or a relative, serving as a mentor, or volunteering at a local high school to help students fill out their college applications.

So I’m asking you today to make a commitment of your own — and learn more about the commitments that universities and organizations from around the country are making, too.

I’m passionate about helping our young people because I see my story in theirs.

Neither of my parents graduated from college, but they always encouraged me to pursue my education and told me that college was possible. And I know that there are so many kids out there just like me: kids who have a world of potential but need some encouragement and support to make it through college.

That’s why I was so inspired by some of the commitments I learned about today.

Universities are taking steps like helping underserved students with financial literacy, or finding innovative ways for academic advisors to better support students who could use a helping hand. And many colleges are working with organizations like the Posse Foundation to give kids the social and academic support they’ll need to graduate.

These kinds of programs aren’t just good for these young people. They’re good for all of us. Because after everything these kids will have overcome to get to college — and get through college — they’ll have all the skills they need to thrive in our businesses, and law firms, and labs. And that’s not just good for them and their families, it’s good for their communities and our country. That’s why Barack is working every single day to expand opportunities to every single young person in America. And that’s why we’re working to rally the country around his “North Star” goal – that by 2020, America will once again have the highest proportion of college graduates in the world.

Reaching that goal begins with each of us doing our part as parents, students, educators, and citizens.

We can all help a young person realize his or her potential, so I hope you’ll learn more about the commitments that organizations and schools around the country are making — and then make a commitment of your own:

http://www.whitehouse.gov/share/college-opportunity

Thanks in advance for everything you will do on behalf of America’s young people.

First Lady Michelle Obama

Text Courtesy: The White House

‘Your stories are powerful’


Picture Courtesy: Morguefile

Picture Courtesy: Morguefile

The very best people to describe what having new health insurance means — what it feels like — isn’t me, or any White House policy staffer. It’s not even the President.

It’s you. Or your neighbor, coworker, sister, or partner.

It’s anyone who woke up on the morning of January 1st with the peace of mind, security, and quiet dignity that comes with taking your health care into your own hands.

We’ve been hearing from a lot of you. Your stories are powerful, and they keep coming in.

Read what 10 different Americans had to say about what being covered now means to them. Then, join them and share a story of your own.

JoAnn S., Florida
“I haven’t had insurance in years and my husband had a shared insurance junk-type policy. The day I signed up on Dec 10, I actually cried when the application went through. I got my first premium notice in the mail yesterday and was never so happy to see a bill before.”

Gayla W., New Hampshire
“I lost my job last April. My partner and I both have pre-existing conditions so our only option was to COBRA my employer-provided plan — at a cost of $1,676 a month. It was a good plan, but now we have a comparable plan through the ACA for $87 a month. I can’t describe just how life changing this is for us. We can afford to live again.”

Stella R., California
“For me this makes all the difference between having good health or not. I recently had a CAT scan (which I had to pay out of pocket for) because I was losing a lot of weight. It turns out that something was found and now I will need to see specialists and have further procedures done to make sure it is not cancer. My first appointment is on January 6 with a specialist. If I did not have health insurance, I would not be able to see a specialist. It would wipe out any savings I have and leave me medically at high risk.”

Brian F., Florida
“I have not had Insurance for over 10 years. I had a pre-existing condition that made me uninsurable — even though I was perfectly healthy. The last quote I got was in 2008: It was $1,750 a month with a $10,000 deductible. There was no way to ever afford that. …This insurance changes everything for me. I do not have to worry anymore when I get a sore throat or an infected cut that I will have to go to the emergency room — run up thousands in bills and then have to file bankruptcy. This is a great day. Thank you for the ACA. It is a life changer.”

Elina K., Colorado
“My mom, who is 61 and works as a freelance Russian interpreter, went to the ER in November. She, her partner and myself are uninsured. Tests confirmed she had a major blockage and would need surgery. The mass appears to be cancerous and is pushing down on her internal organs. She has been in severe pain for weeks. … Last night, around 3 a.m., she was admitted to the hospital and will be having surgery which she had to put off until her ACA policy kicked in at midnight. She now has expert care in a facility that in less than 24 hours changed her medication and treated her symptoms with noticeable results. When my stepdad came home tonight, exhausted after spending all day at the hospital, all he could say was ‘thank god for Obamacare’ …It may well end up saving her life.”

Kendra S., Oklahoma
“Just this past October, my husband was diagnosed with stage IV lung cancer. This devastating news was compounded by the fact we were not insured, my husband could no longer work, and the rapid medical procedures that occurred quickly ran up thousands of dollars that we don’t have the money to pay. We quickly began researching the ACA, made an appointment with a local Community Care office and after many hours of research, to determine the coverage that we could afford. We are so grateful for the ACA. With the incredibly terrible stress that has befallen upon our family, at least now we know his medical expenses are covered.”

Rachelle L., Florida
“My 28-year-old daughter was able to get healthcare coverage on her own for the first time through the ACA. She has a pre-existing condition, a genetic kidney disease that prevented her from getting coverage in 2009 at the age of 24 when she had to come off of our policy due to the age requirement. Her Cobra payments were $650 a month because she could not get more reasonable private coverage due to her pre-existing condition. In 2010, she was able to come back on our BCBS plan because of the ACA and was able to remain there until she finished school. We signed her up through the website and paid for her plan directly through Cigna on December 2: $298/month for a silver plan with a $0 deductible! She received her new insurance card on December 27th for coverage starting Jan 1! We now have peace of mind that all of her medical needs will be covered at a reasonable cost.”

Curtis D., Washington
“Our new coverage has begun. I am 62, and my wife is 55. We are both self employed and neither of us have had coverage for the past seven years. Thankfully we are both pretty healthy, but it feels good to know we can schedule a checkup and take care of any lingering issues we’ve been putting off. Thank you for making improvements to the health care of the country.”

Kelly M., Maryland
“I have a new plan. I haven’t had insurance for years. When I applied for insurance before, I was denied for pre-existing conditions, even for plans with huge deductibles. I signed up on the Maryland Healthcare Exchange back in October, and by January 1st, I was holding an insurance card from Carefirst Blueshield and have already had my first doctor’s appointment. It works. I am proof. And I’m so grateful that I can take care of myself with dignity without having to go to the ER whenever I’m sick or have to spend half of my paycheck at an urgent care center. I can do all of the preventative measures that I have been putting off, and get back on the road to health. It’s a good feeling.”

Kate S., Connecticut
“This healthcare reform is a life-changing event for my family. My husband and I have had to carry our own insurance for the past 25 years and, with the family insurance we had, we were paying $2,500.00 a MONTH for coverage, which we could not afford. Once the children graduated from high school, we had to take them off our policy because we could not afford it anymore. … We have never been high wage earners and the costs of our insurance have for years been an impossible burden. Now that the system is fair and goes by our income, we finally may be able to set money aside and save for our future.”

Simply put, for millions of Americans: Health reform matters.

If you’ve got a story of your own, share it with us here.

And if you don’t think stories like these ones get told enough — then do something to change that. Pass this on.

Thank you,

David

David Simas
Deputy Senior Advisor
The White House
@Simas44

Text Courtesy:The White House

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