President Barack Obama, with Vice President Joe Biden, delivers remarks on immigration, in the East Room of the White House, Oct. 24, 2013. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)
Today, President Obama joined leaders from business, labor, and faith communities who are united around one goal: fixing our broken immigration system.
People across the political spectrum understand that our current system is broken, President Obama said today. And earlier this year, the Senate passed a bill with bipartisan support that addresses "the core challenges of how we create a immigration system that is fair, that’s just, that is true to our traditions as a nation of laws and a nation of immigrants."
It’s a bill that would continue to strengthen our borders. It would level the playing field by holding unscrupulous employers accountable if they knowingly hire undocumented workers.
It would modernize our legal immigration system, so that even as we train American workers for the jobs of the future, we’re also attracting highly-skilled entrepreneurs from beyond our borders to join with us to create jobs here in the United States.
It would make sure that everybody plays by the same rules by providing a pathway to earned citizenship for those who are here illegally -- one that includes passing a background check, learning English, paying taxes, paying a penalty, getting in line behind everyone who is trying to come here the right way.
Ed. Note: This blog is cross posted from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
Today, we join our White House colleagues in celebrating National Breast Cancer Awareness month; and almost four weeks into the launch of the Health Insurance Marketplace, I’m reminded of the tremendous impact the Affordable Care Act has on the lives of American women.
As the President said, the law is much more than just a website - it’s affordable, quality health insurance made available to everyone. Through the Marketplace, 18.6 million uninsured women have new opportunities for affordable, accessible coverage. And if you’re one of the 85 percent of Americans who already have insurance, today you have stronger coverage and more choices than ever before.
Important preventive services are now available to women at no additional cost. These include an annual well woman visit, screening for breast, cervical, and colorectal cancer; certain contraceptive methods; smoking-cessation treatment and services; breastfeeding support and equipment; screening and counseling for interpersonal and domestic violence; immunizations; and many more. Thanks to the health care law, more than 47 million women have guaranteed access to preventive services without cost-sharing.
These preventive services are critical to keeping women healthy. For example, breast cancer is the most common cancer affecting women and the second leading cause of cancer death for women in the US, after lung cancer. But when breast cancer is caught early and treated, survival rates can be near 100 percent.
The North Portico exterior of the White House is illuminated pink in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, Oct. 1, 2012 (Official White House Photo by Sonya N. Hebert)
The White House and the entrance to the Naval Observatory will be lit pink tonight, October 24th, in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and the millions of families who have battled the disease, and who feel its impact every day.
Whether affected by the disease directly, or anxious about the future health of our families, or reminded of loved ones we have lost every time we set the table for dinner, or celebrate the holidays – the fight against breast cancer is relevant to everyone, and we each can play an important role in tackling this challenge. Whether organizing local events, or consistently reminding our mothers, sisters, daughters, and friends to prioritize their own health by exercising regularly, eating well and getting their regular checkups and mammograms, there is always more we can do to help eradicate this disease.
HealthCare.gov, the website where people can browse and buy affordable health insurance, hasn’t worked as smoothly as it was supposed to since it opened on October 1st. President Obama has directed his team to work around the clock to improve the site, and get it running as quickly and efficiently as possible.
But, as President Obama said on Monday, there is still massive demand for health insurance, and thousands of people are still signing up for coverage and saving money. Many who couldn't afford insurance before, or had been denied care due to a pre-existing condition, are getting covered for the first time.
In fact, a few of the folks who have already signed up for new plans stood behind the President during his remarks on Monday. Afterward, they took a minute to talk with us about their experiences using the new Health Insurance Marketplaces and why they are happy with their new coverage.
Check out the video above and see what Zohre, Janice, and David had to say.
The government shutdown and debt limit brinksmanship have had a substantial negative impact on the economy. A new report released today by the Council of Economic Advisers (CEA) attempts to estimate the actual impact of the shutdown and default brinksmanship on economic activity as measured by eight different daily or weekly economic indicators. Overall it finds that a range of eight economic indicators in what we call a “Weekly Economic Index” are consistent with a 0.25 percentage point reduction in the annualized GDP growth rate in the fourth quarter and a reduction of about 120,000 private sector jobs in the first two weeks of October (estimates use indicators available through October 12th). These estimates very likely understate the full economic effects of the episode because of its effects that continued, and will continue, past October 12th.
The shutdown directly affected the economy by withdrawing government services for a sixteen day period, which not only had direct impacts but also had a range of indirect effects on the private sector. For example the travel industry was hurt by the closing of national parks, businesses in oil and gas and other industries were hurt by the cessation of permits for oil and gas drilling, the housing industry was hurt by the cessation of IRS verifications for mortgage applications, and small businesses were hurt by the shutdown of Small Business Administration loan guarantees. In addition, a reduction in consumer confidence and an increase in uncertainty associated not just with the shutdown but also the brinksmanship over the debt limit affected consumer spending, investment and hiring decisions as well.
Ed. note: This is cross-posted from the U.S. Department of Energy. You can see the original post here.
Last week, the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon 2013 wrapped up. Even though the sun has set at the Solar Decathlon village and students have gone home, their hard work is having a lasting effect on sustainable design and our nation’s clean energy leaders.
A two-year competition that challenges collegiate teams to build energy-efficient, solar-powered houses, the Solar Decathlon is a perfect example of how the Energy Department is training and inspiring the next generation of architects, engineers and entrepreneurs. Over the course of the competition, students gain hands-on experience in everything from fundraising and marketing to design and construction. Showcasing their houses to the general public allows students to get feedback on their designs and how they work in the real world -- something that many of them would never get in the classroom.
While job growth remained solid in September, there is no question that the focus of policy should be on how to achieve a faster pace of job growth by increasing certainty and investing in jobs, rather than the self-inflicted wounds of the past several weeks that increased uncertainty and inhibited job growth. Today’s delayed report describes the economy more than a month ago. More recent indicators suggest the labor market worsened in the month of October.Five key points in today’s report from the bureau of labor statistics
1. Private sector employment has risen for 43 consecutive months, with businesses adding a total of 7.6 million jobs over that period. Today we learned that total non-farm payroll employment rose by 148,000 in September, with the private sector accounting for 126,000 of that gain. Private sector job growth was revised down for July (to 100,000) but up for August (to 161,000). In sum, private sector employment rose by an average of 129,000 per month in the third quarter, lower than we can be fully satisfied with, partially reflecting the effects of fiscal contraction. This underscores the continued importance of taking steps that speed the recovery and boost job creation, while avoiding self-inflicted wounds like a government shutdown and debt ceiling brinksmanship that have the opposite effect.
As a native Ohioan and former staff member to Senator John Glenn, I’m thrilled that my home state announced today they will join the majority of states and move forward with expanding the Ohio Medicaid program, as supported by the Affordable Care Act. As the 26th state to expand, Governor Kasich will join a number of other Republican governors in putting aside partisan politics, and recognizing the practical and economic benefits of supporting Medicaid expansion. This is great news for the 270,000 previously uninsured residents, the State’s health care providers, and Ohio economy who will benefit from this expansion.
Leaders across the country are looking at the numbers, and coming to the same conclusion – Medicaid expansion makes sense. In Ohio, for example, the Health Policy Institute of Ohio estimated, in a joint study with Ohio State University, Urban Institute and Regional Economic Models, Inc., that even after taking into account any increased Medicaid cost for the state, the Medicaid expansion on balance would create between $1.8 – $1.9 billion in net state budget gains over the next 9 years. And, Medicaid expansion will affect Ohio residents in other ways. The Institute’s analysis finds that Ohio expansion would create more than 27,000 jobs, reduce health care costs for Ohio employers and residents by $285 million and $1.1 billion, respectively, and reduce the number of uninsured by more than 450,000 Ohio residents over the next 9 years.
This fall, the White House will once again open its gardens and grounds to visitors from across the country.
Today, we're excited to announce an opportunity for our Instagram followers to take a special tour of the Jacqueline Kennedy Garden, the Rose Garden, and the South Lawn, including the White House Kitchen Garden on Sunday, October 27th.
Interested in joining? Be sure to follow @WhiteHouse or @MichelleObama on Instagram. Then, apply for your chance to attend at http://www.whitehouse.gov/social. Let your friends know that you applied by posting a nature or garden photo that you've taken on Instagram using the hashtag #WHInstaMeet.
Luis Alejo shows what effective leadership looks like
Today, we're excited to announce that Jason Furman, Chairman of the President Obama's Council of Economic Advisors, and Council member Betsey Stevenson are the latest White House officials to join Twitter. You can follow Jason Furman at @CEAChair and Betsey Stevenson at @CEABetsey. The White House uses Twitter to connect directly with Americans, and now you can get the latest on economic news, analysis and policy directly from members of President Obama's economic team.
- Timely analysis on the monthly Employment situation report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics
- News about the economy and President Obama's policies to move our economy forward and restore middle class security
- Opportunities to engage directly with Jason Furman and Betsey Stevenson
Note: This live session of Office Hours has concluded.View the full question and answer session below or at Storify.com
Jason and Betsey will mark the launch of their new accounts by hosting a special back-to-back session of White House Office Hours tomorrow, Tuesday, October 22nd starting at 12:00 p.m. ET. During a live Q&A event on Twitter they will answer your questions about everything from President Obama's economic policies, to the latest monthly economic situation report, and the economic affects of the government shutdown.
President Barack Obama delivers remarks on the Affordable Care Act during a statement in the Rose Garden of the White House, Oct. 21, 2013. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)
On October 1, HealthCare.gov opened for business, offering Americans a new way to compare health insurance plans and enroll in coverage. Nearly 20 million people have visited the site, and Americans all over the country are signing up for affordable, high-quality health insurance.
But, as President Obama explained today, the web site hasn’t worked as well as it’s supposed to.
"The problem has been that the website that’s supposed to make it easy to apply for and purchase the insurance is not working the way it should for everybody. And there’s no sugarcoating it. The website has been too slow, people have been getting stuck during the application process," he said. "And there’s no excuse for the problems, and these problems are getting fixed."
President Obama also reminded Americans that while HealthCare.gov will ultimately be the easiest way to buy insurance through the marketplaces, it isn’t the only way to apply and enroll.
"Even as we redouble our efforts to get the site working as well as it’s supposed to," he said, "we’re also redoubling our efforts to make sure you can still buy the same quality, affordable insurance plans the old-fashioned way – offline, either over the phone or in person.”
On Sunday, the Department of Health and Human Services provided an update on the state of HealthCare.gov, addressing initial issues with the site and explaining its improvements. The following is crossposted from HHS.gov.
Read the original post here.
Over the past two and a half weeks, millions of Americans visited HealthCare.gov to look at their new health care options under the Affordable Care Act. In that time, nearly half a million applications for coverage have been submitted from across the nation. This tremendous interest – with over 19 million unique visits to date to HealthCare.gov– confirms that the American people are looking for quality, affordable health coverage, and want to find it online.
Unfortunately, the experience on HealthCare.gov has been frustrating for many Americans. Some have had trouble creating accounts and logging in to the site, while others have received confusing error messages, or had to wait for slow page loads or forms that failed to respond in a timely fashion. The initial consumer experience of HealthCare.gov has not lived up to the expectations of the American people. We are committed to doing better.
Aside from the difficulties since launching the site, there are parts of the overall system that have proved up to the task. The “Data Hub,” component, which provides HealthCare.gov with information that aids in determining eligibility for qualified health plans, is working. Individuals have been able to verify their eligibility for credits, enabling them to shop for and enroll in low or even no-cost health plans.
In this week’s address, President Obama said that now that the Federal government is reopened and the threat of default is lifted from the economy, there are three places Washington can take action to serve the American people. First, it’s time for a balanced, responsible approach to the budget that grows the economy and shrinks our long term deficits. Second, we must fix our broken immigration system. And finally, Congress should pass a farm bill to give rural communities the opportunity to grow. The President said it’s time to put aside politics and work on behalf of the American people and the country we love.
Members of the public view the Kitchen Garden during the White House Fall Garden Tour on the South Grounds, Oct. 14, 2012. (Official White House Photo by Lawrence Jackson)
Today, we are pleased to announce the resumption of East Wing and Executive Residence tours, beginning on November 5th.
In addition, the White House will be opening its gardens and grounds to visitors on Saturday, October 26th from 9:00 AM to 3:30 PM, and Sunday, October 27th from 9:00 AM to 3:30 PM for the 2013 Fall White House Garden Tour. The White House will distribute tickets to the public on a first-come, first-served basis beginning at 7:30am on Saturday, October 26th and Sunday, October 27th at the Ellipse Visitor Pavilion located at 15th and E Streets.
Guests are invited to tour and photograph the Jacqueline Kennedy Garden, the Rose Garden and the South Lawn. They’ll also visit the White House Kitchen Garden – the first vegetable garden at the White House since Eleanor Roosevelt’s Victory Garden.
Learn more about public Fall Garden Tours and the resumption of public East Wing and Executive Residence tours here. Tours of the East Wing and Executive Residence are not included in the Garden Tours.
For more than two weeks, President Obama worked diligently to reopen the government and remove the dangers of default from our economy. He met with members of Congress from both parties, talked with Americans impacted by the shutdown, and spoke to the press. Thanks to those efforts and the work of Democrats and responsible Republicans in Congress, the President signed legislation late Wednesday night to end the shutdown.
The President also continued working on other issues throughout the shutdown. He found time to welcome official visitors to the White House, present the Medal of Honor, and appoint a new Chair to the Federal Reserve. In case you missed it, here are some of the highlights from those 16 days:
Shutdown impact: While the government was closed, the President met with those whose lives had been affected by the government shutdown. He talked with small business owners to discuss the impacts of the government shutdown on their businesses and thanked FEMA employees at the National Response Coordinating Center for working during the shutdown, in preparation of Tropical Storm Karen.
He also visited to a DC food pantry, Martha’s Table, to thank furloughed federal employees who spent their time out of the office volunteering for charities and non-profits.
This week, the government shutdown came to an end, and the nation averted default. That's October 11th to October 17th or "The Shutdown Edition: The End"
Our Voter Guide for the November 6 Election
Today, President Obama sent a letter to Federal employees welcoming them back to work following the government shutdown and thanking them all for their service. Read the full letter here, or below.
With government back open for business this morning, Vice President Biden stopped by the Environmental Protection Agency to greet employees as they returned to work.