Barack’s White House Blog™


By Jueseppi B.




Magic Johnson
January 15, 2014
08:57 AM EST


No one plans to get sick or hurt — I certainly didn’t — but most people will need medical care at some point in their lives.


As an athlete, I understood the value of my health insurance. I knew that in my profession, injuries were common and could happen at any time.


It was important that I had the insurance needed to protect me in case I got hurt. It’s been almost 20 years since my playing days and having health insurance is still important to me. All athletes know that a broken bone, or knee surgery can cost a lot, and medical bills can add up. But it doesn’t just happen to professional athletes, it can happen to anybody. And, without health insurance, some medical treatments can cost thousands of dollars.



The good news is, now you can finally get the health insurance you need. The new HealthInsurance Marketplace offers affordable, quality health insurance that can help you get the care you need without risking your life savings.


The Marketplace is a new, simpler way to purchase health insurance — all in one place. You can go online to find and compare options, determine if you qualify for lower costs, and enroll in the plan that’s right for you.


I encourage folks to check out my video and visit HealthCare.gov to determine your options.


Everyone should have the opportunity to get affordable, quality health coverage. There’s still time to enroll through March 31.


Protect your health — enroll today.



Related links:

Related Topics: Health Care




Cecilia Muñoz and Todd Park
January 15, 2014
10:30 AM EST


Higher education has never been more important to building a stronger middle class and yet tuition has gone up faster than family incomes for decades. Higher education should be affordable for everyone, not a luxury for the few.


Last August, President Obama outlined an ambitious plan to tackle rising college costs and make college affordable for American families.  The President’s plan will promote innovation and competition in the higher education marketplace by:

  • Publishing better information on how colleges are performing,
  • Catalyzing new approaches that can improve learning and reduce costs, and
  • Offering colleges regulatory flexibility so that they can innovate.


Harnessing innovative technologies is central to the plan, and the President has called on his Administration to support private-sector technology entrepreneurs and innovators working to make postsecondary education accessible, available, and attainable to all students.


Today, the White House, the U.S. Departments of Education and Treasury, and the General Services Administration are hosting an Education “Datapalooza” to highlight the role that private-sector apps, tools, and services can play in helping students get into and complete college. More than 500 of America’s entrepreneurs, software developers and education experts are coming together to explore new apps and services advancing higher education, in areas such as: choosing and applying for college, online teaching and learning, and new pathways for acquiring 21st century skills.


Many of the companies, students, and non-profits at the Datapalooza are showcasing apps and other products that use freely available government data provided by the Department of Education and other Federal sources.  One example is theStudent Success Academy, where they have developed a comprehensive online program for students in the college search process. In another example, at the Center for Teaching and Learning at Harvard, they are developing a tool that empowers faculty members to use active learning strategies to improve instruction.


As we work to support the creation and spread of new tools along these lines, the Administration is also focused on ensuring that individuals’ sensitive information is safe—protecting privacy is one of our top priorities.


Get more details on the Education Datapalooza


Cecilia Muñoz is the Director of the Domestic Policy Council. Todd Park is the U.S. Chief Technology Officer.




Secretary Ernest Moniz
Secretary Ernest Moniz

January 15, 2014
09:00 AM EST


Ed. note: This is cross-posted from energy.gov. See the original post here.


Hidden inside nearly every modern electronic is a technology — called power electronics — that is quietly making our world run. Yet, as things like our phones, appliances and cars advance, current power electronics will no longer be able to meet our needs, making it essential that we invest in the future of this technology.



Today, President Obama will announce that North Carolina State University will lead the Energy Department’s new manufacturing innovation institute for the next generation of power electronics. The institute will work to drive down the costs of and build America’s manufacturing leadership in wide bandgap (WBG) semiconductor-based power electronics — leading to more affordable products for businesses and consumers, billions of dollars in energy savings and high-quality U.S. manufacturing jobs.


Integral to consumer electronics and many clean energy technologies, power electronics can be found in everything from electric vehicles and industrial motors, to laptop power adaptors and inverters that connect solar panels and wind turbines to the electric grid. For nearly 50 years, silicon chips have been the basis of power electronics. However, as clean energy technologies and the electronics industry has advanced, silicon chips are reaching their limits in power conversion — resulting in wasted heat and higher energy consumption.


Power electronics that use WBG semiconductors have the potential to change all this. WBG semiconductors operate at high temperatures, frequencies and voltages — all helping to eliminate up to 90 percent of the power losses in electricity conversion compared to current technology. This in turn means that power electronics can be smaller because they need fewer semiconductor chips, and the technologies that rely on power electronics — like electric vehicle chargers, consumer appliances and LEDs — will perform better, be more efficient and cost less.


One of three new institutes in the President’s National Network of Manufacturing Innovation, the Energy Department’s institute will develop the infrastructure needed to make WBG semiconductor-based power electronics cost competitive with silicon chips in the next five years. Working with more than 25 partners across industry, academia, and state and federal organizations, the institute will provide shared research and development, manufacturing equipment, and product testing to create new semiconductor technology that is up to 10 times more powerful that current chips on the market. Through higher education programs and internships, the institute will ensure that the U.S. has the workforce necessary to be the leader in the next generation of power electronics manufacturing.


Watch our latest video on how wide bandgap semiconductors could impact clean energy technology and our daily lives.


Ernest Moniz is the Secretary of Energy


Related Topics: Energy and EnvironmentNorth Carolina




Women Leaders in Climate Change Finance and Investment


Published on Jan 15, 2014

Dan Utech, Director for Energy and Climate Change at the White House Domestic Policy Council at a White House event highlighting women working in the financial sector, including asset managers, pension funds, investment strategists, and project-based finance experts, who are championing opportunities for climate-smart investment options and financing for green growth. January 14, 2013.




Statements and Releases January 15, 2014


Statement from the President on the Retirement of Congressman Jim Moran


FACT SHEET: U.S. Conventional Arms Transfer Policy


Presidential Policy Directive — United States Conventional Arms Transfer Policy


President Obama Announces New Public-Private Manufacturing Innovation Institute


Statement from the President on the Retirement of Congressman Bill Owens


Readout of the President’s Meeting with the National Governors Association Executive Committee


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