Barack & Michelle After Dark™: Michelle Visits Howard. Wounded Warrior Riders Visit Barack’s House. The West Wing Week.


 

By Jueseppi B.

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First Lady Michelle Obama And Bow Wow Spotted At Howard University

 

On Thursday, first lady Michelle Obama and rapper-slash-actor Bow Wow joined 37 students from Chicago public high schools for a tour of Howard University, our colleague Krissah Thompson reports. According to the first lady’s office, Obama specifically requested Bow Wow for the event, an annual college visit called “Escape to the Mecca” — a nod to the university’s nickname “the mecca.”

“This isn’t bad,” Obama said as she stepped inside a dorm room in Frazier Hall where one enterprising student had the perfect product placement on her desk: a portfolio and résumé. During the sneak peek, Obama encouraged the visiting students to step in and look around too. “You might be living here. I’m just visiting,” she said.

 

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From NBC 5 Chicago:

 

First Lady Welcomes Chicago Public School Students on College Visit 

 

CPS officials said 37 students were on the campus visit from 18 area schools

 

By Alexandria Fisher

First Lady Michelle Obama and rapper Bow Wow welcomed dozens of Chicago high schoolers to Howard University in Washington Thursday afternoon.

 

First lady Michelle Obama and Bow Wow, co-host of the television show “106 & Park,” along with high school students from Chicago, tour the Howard University dorms. (Marvin Joseph/The Washington Post)

First lady Michelle Obama and Bow Wow, co-host of the television show “106 & Park,” along with high school students from Chicago, tour the Howard University dorms. (Marvin Joseph/The Washington Post)

 

The First Lady joined the students on their college visit to promote the President’s “North Star” initiative, which aims to bring America’s proportion of college graduates back to the highest in the world by 2020.

 

Obama, a Princeton University and Harvard Law alum, toured dorm rooms and posed for a group photo with the juniors and seniors from Chicago Public high schools as Howard students shouted from dorm room windows.

 

Students cheer from their dorm room windows as they watch First Lady Michelle Obama take a tour of Howard University

Students cheer from their dorm room windows as they watch First Lady Michelle Obama take a tour of Howard University

 

Donning a maroon pant suit and black flats the First Lady showed her school spirit by waving a “Howard hand” and speaking to the students from a campus food court.

 

Bow Wow, formerly L’il Bow Wow, joined the First Lady Thursday to help moderate the students’ discussion.

 

First Lady Michelle Obama smiles at rapper Bow Wow at Howard University. The First Lady joined juniors and seniors from Chicago public high schools on the first day of their four-day visit to Howard University, as part of a program to immerse talented high school students in a college campus environment.

First Lady Michelle Obama smiles at rapper Bow Wow at Howard University. The First Lady joined juniors and seniors from Chicago public high schools on the first day of their four-day visit to Howard University, as part of a program to immerse talented high school students in a college campus environment.

 

“I’m very proud of you guys,” Bow Wow said, after starting off by shouting out Chicago neighborhoods.

 

Obama pumped her fist when he said “South Side.”

 

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The 27-year-old co-host of BET’s “106 & Park,” a weekday show on which the First Lady has appeared, didn’t attend college and instead pursued an entertainment career, according to his manager Bart Waters.

 

The First Lady commended Bow Wow, a child rapping prodigy, for his support for education and said she was “very proud of this young man.”

 

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She then went on to encourage the students to go to college or pursue other higher education.

 

“While there’s a lot of work that needs to be done on our end,” she said, referring to government, philanthropy and other resources, “you don’t have time to wait for everybody to fix the system.”

 

CPS officials said 37 students were on the campus visit from 18 area schools.

 

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“This has been the most phenomenal day of my life,” Pamela Mondane, 17, told Obama.

 

The senior at Whitney Young, Obama’s alma mater, said she intended to enroll at Howard University later this year.

 

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First lady Michelle Obama and Bow Wow, co-host of the television show “106 & Park,” along with high school students from Chicago, tour the Howard University dorms. (Marvin Joseph/The Washington Post)

First lady Michelle Obama and Bow Wow, co-host of the television show “106 & Park,” along with high school students from Chicago, tour the Howard University dorms. (Marvin Joseph/The Washington Post)

 

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Letters to the President: Stories of Health Reform

 

 

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Published on Apr 17, 2014

While in Austin, the President recently met with several Americans who wrote letters about the Affordable Care Act.

 

 

 

8 Million People Have Signed Up For Private Health Coverage Thanks To The Patient Protection And Affordable Care Act (ObamaCARES). Read All About The 8 Million.

 

 

President Obama: 8 Million People Have Signed Up for Private Health Coverage

 

Speaking from the White House Briefing Room this afternoon, President Obama announced that 8 millionAmericans have signed up for private health coverage thanks to the Affordable Care Act.

 

 

President Obama Speaks to the Press

 

Published on Apr 17, 2014

Before taking questions from the press in the White House Press Briefing Room, President Obama announces that 8 million people signed up for private health coverage in the Health Insurance Marketplace. April 17, 2014.

 

 

 

He noted that 35 percent of those people are under 35 years old.

 

What’s more, costs associated with expanding coverage under the Affordable Care Act are lower than expected.

 

And health care costs are growing at the slowest level on record. That slower growth in spending is reflected across MedicareMedicaid, and private insurance.

 

obama-thank-you-auto-reply

 

Take a look at a few more important numbers, from a fact sheet released today:

 

  • 8 million people signed up for private insurance in the Health InsuranceMarketplace. For states that have Federally-Facilitated Marketplaces, 35 percent of those who signed up are under 35 years old, and 28 percent are between 18 and 34 years old, virtually the same youth percentage that signed up in Massachusetts in its first year of health reform.

 

  • 3 million young adults gained coverage thanks to the Affordable Care Act by being able to stay on their parents’ plan.

 

  • 3 million more people were enrolled in Medicaid and CHIP as of February, compared to before the Marketplaces opened. Medicaid and CHIP enrollment continues year-round.

 

  • 5 million people are enrolled in plans that meet ACA standards outside the Marketplace, according to aCBO estimate. When insurers set premiums for next year, they are required to look at everyone who enrolled in plans that meet ACA standards, both inside and outside the Marketplace.

 

  • 5.7 million people will be uninsured in 2016 because 24 states have chosen not to expand Medicaid — even though this expansion would be of no cost to states, as the President pointed out in today’s briefing.

 

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The bottom line, as the President said: “This thing is working.

 

#8Million #8Million #8Million

 

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blcsxhgciaasxk9

@BarackObama The Affordable Care Act is working—for millions of Americans.

@BarackObama
The Affordable Care Act is working—for millions of Americans.

Can Ya'll Haters Please Kiss My Entire Black Ass?

Can Ya’ll Haters Please Kiss My Entire Black Ass?

 

 

 

blctuwjceae9fnw

BlYKeYVCUAAsrRB

#8Million #8Million #8Million  #8Million  #8Million  #8Million  #8Million  #8Million  #8Million  #8Million #8Million

#8Million #8Million #8Million #8Million #8Million #8Million #8Million #8Million #8Million #8Million #8Million

Eight Million.....And Counting.

Eight Million…..And Counting.

Lets give a hand for eight million.

Lets give a hand for eight million.

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West Wing Week: 4/18/14 or, “Pull Together, Fight Back, and Win”

 

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Published on Apr 17, 2014

This week, the President nominated Sylvia Burwell as Secretary of Health and Human Services, hosted an Easter Prayer Breakfast and a PassoverSeder, discussed immigration reform with Faith leaders, welcomed the Wounded Warrior Soldier Ride, announced a major milestone in the continued implementation of the Affordable Care Act, and hit the road to New York City and Oakdale, Pennsylvania.

 

 

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Wounded Warriors Ride for Recovery

 

The Phoro Of The Year: President Obama Watches As The Riders Speed By.

The Phoro Of The Year: President Obama Watches As The Riders Speed By.

 

This morning, on the South Lawn of the White House, President Obama, Vice President Biden, and Secretary Shinseki welcomed riders participating in the Wounded Warrior Project’s Soldier Ride.

 

Today was the fifth time President Obama has welcomed Soldier Ride to the White House. The ride begins in Washington, D.C. and ends in Friendship, Maryland, spanning a total of 58 miles.

 

The Wounded Warrior Project’s Soldier Ride at the White House

 

Published on Apr 17, 2014

President Obama welcomes Wounded Warrior Project’s Soldier Ride to the White House in celebration of the seventh annual Soldier Ride. A cycling event to help Wounded Warriors restore their physical and emotional well-being, the Soldier Ride also raises awareness of our nation’s Wounded Warriors who battle the physical and psychological damages of war.

 

 

 

Remarks by the President Welcoming the Wounded Warrior Project’s Soldier Ride

South Lawn

11:06 A.M. EDT

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THE PRESIDENT:  Hello, everybody!  (Applause.)  Welcome to the White House.  Thank you to Ric for not just a nice introduction, but more importantly, for your outstanding service to our country and for your service to our veterans and fellow wounded warriors.

Now, I also want to mention that our Vice President here has been relentless in his support, along with our spouses, Michelle and Jill Biden, for military families.  And we’re very proud of everything that Joe has done.

This is now the fifth time that I’ve had the honor of welcoming the Soldier Ride to the White House.  And I have to tell you, this is one of my favorite events of the year.  First of all, you know it’s spring when — or at least it’s supposed to be spring — (laughter) — when the Soldier Ride comes around.  But mainly, it’s because those who participate are such an incredible inspiration to me and to our country.

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To all the riders, you look outstanding, especially after biking 17 miles yesterday.  You’re doing another 17 miles tomorrow, another 17 miles after that — all told, nearly 60 miles.  Today we wanted to come cheer you on.  And I think we’ve got some folks from the Army here, is that right?  (Hooah!)  And the Navy.  (Hooyah!)  Air Force.  (Applause.)  Marines.  (Oorah!)  Oh, that was good.  (Laughter.)  Coast Guard.  (Applause.)  And we’ve got some extraordinary families here today.  (Applause.)  Yay, families.

By now, everybody knows the story about how this got started.  You had a bartender on Long Island, Chris Carney, who came up with the idea of riding his bike across America to support wounded warriors.  Chris couldn’t be here today.  He owns a gym now; I think you all inspired him to trade the bar in for some barbells.  But today there are Soldier Rides all across the country, and we want to thank everybody at the Wounded Warriors Project for their incredible support.

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I know some of you are doing this for the very first time; some of you have ridden three or four times.  Some of you are riding in tandem with your parents.  Biking nearly 60 miles in three days would be a challenge for anybody, but for all of you this is a lot more than a bike ride — this is a mark of how far you’ve come.

Many of you are recovering from devastating injuries.  Some of you have had to learn the basics all over again — how to stand again, how to walk again, how to run again.  And now you’re here today because that’s what Soldier Ride is all about — seeing each other through the finish line.

Lieutenant Commander John Jae Terry is here.  Three years ago, he was on foot patrol in Afghanistan when he was hit by an IED, ended up losing his leg.  But reflecting on his service, he said he would do it all again.  Now, he’s got a new goal — get in the best shape possible so he can play with his three kids.  And so today he’s here on his first Soldier Ride.

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You’ve got Master Sergeant Louis Alfonso Ramirez.  Serving in Afghanistan, he lost good friends in a terrible ambush.  He even assisted at the airport as they began their dignified transfer home.  Later diagnosed with post-traumatic stress, credits the Wounded Warriors Project with helping him heal.  He says, “You know that they got you.”  This is now his fourth ride.

Sergeant Major Sedrick Banks is here.  An explosion in Iraq left him with injuries to his neck and his back, and traumatic brain injury.  But after years of rehab, Cedric is focused on the future.  He volunteers here in Washington, helps mentor young men with the life skills they need to succeed.  He calls himself now a “warrior for society.”  This is his first Soldier Ride.

Major Jeanette Nieves-Ayala is here.  And I first met Jeanette a few years ago at Walter Reed, where she was recovering from an injury received in Iraq.  As some of you know, when I visit with our troops I often hand out coins marked with the Seal of the President.  Jeanette shook my hand and she said, Mr. President, all these men think your coin is the best; I don’t.  I made a bet with them that there was a coin that could trump yours.  I said, what are you talking about?  She said, I want the First Lady’s coin.  (Laughter.)  The First Lady’s coin would beat yours.

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Now, it is true that the First Lady trumps me.  But Jeanette says her proudest accomplishment is being a peer mentor to other wounded warriors.  She says that during her recovery, “I was definitely being carried.  Now I feel like I am helping to carry others.”  So I want to thank you, Jeanette.

This ride is first and foremost for these incredible riders.  But it’s men and women like John and Louis and Cedric and Jeanette and all of you who make the ride so special for all of us, because you inspire us.  You inspire the country, some of whom will be out cheering along your ride.  You inspire me with your courage, your resolve, your resilience, your tenacity, your optimism.  It makes me proud to be your Commander-in-Chief.  And Michelle and I treasure every moment that we get to spend with you and your families.

Every day I have the honor of serving as this country’s Commander-in-Chief.  And as long as I have that honor, I will keep fighting to make sure you and your families get the care and treatment and benefits that you have earned and deserve.  When people ask of you to serve your country, to give your all to make your sacrifices, you’ve raised your hands.  You’ve stepped up.  You’ve held up your end of the bargain.  And it’s especially now, as we’re winding down the war in Afghanistan, after having ended over a decade of war, that we are standing up for you.  Our obligations to our veterans endure for your entire lives.  That’s our mission.  That’s why we’re here not just during this ride, but all year long.

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So with that, the sun is out.  It’s a spectacular day.  The racers look like they’re ready.  I think it’s time for us to get this party started.

God bless you.  God bless America.  Let’s get this going.  (Applause.)

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END
11:13 A.M. EDT

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Cheering on riders at the Wounded Warrior Project's Solider Ride this morning. #JoiningForces

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President Obama high fives a rider as he welcomes the Wounded Warrior Project’s Soldier Ride to the White House

President Obama makes a face as Nancy Loubin takes a photo of him at Wounded Warriors event at White House today

One of the riders taking part in the Wounded Warrior Project’s Soldier Ride, with a President Obama bobblehead in his jersey, waits in the Diplomatic Reception Room of the White House, April 17, 2014. (Official White House Photo by David Lienemann)

One of the riders taking part in the Wounded Warrior Project’s Soldier Ride, with a President Obama bobblehead in his jersey, waits in the Diplomatic Reception Room of the White House, April 17, 2014. (Official White House Photo by David Lienemann)

A Wounded Warrior exits the Diplomatic Reception Room of the White House to participate in the Soldier Ride, April 17, 2014. (WH Photo by Pete Souza)

A Wounded Warrior exits the Diplomatic Reception Room of the White House to participate in the Soldier Ride, April 17, 2014. (WH Photo by Pete Souza)

President Obama, Vice President Biden, and Secretary Shinseki cheer on participants in the Soldier Ride, April 17, 2014. (WH Photo by Chuck Kennedy)

President Obama, Vice President Biden, and Secretary Shinseki cheer on participants in the Soldier Ride, April 17, 2014. (WH Photo by Chuck Kennedy)

Participants in the seventh annual Soldier Ride make their way around the South Lawn of the White House, April 17, 2014. (WH Photo by Amanda Lucidon)

Participants in the seventh annual Soldier Ride make their way around the South Lawn of the White House, April 17, 2014. (WH Photo by Amanda Lucidon)

President Obama, Vice President Biden, and Secretary Shinseki welcome the Soldier Ride to the White House, April 17, 2014. (WH Photo by Pete Souza)

President Obama, Vice President Biden, and Secretary Shinseki welcome the Soldier Ride to the White House, April 17, 2014. (WH Photo by Pete Souza)

 

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Statements and Releases

 

Statement by the President on the Passing of Nobel Laureate Gabriel García Marquez

 

Readout of the President’s Call with Chancellor Merkel of Germany

 

FACT SHEET: Affordable Care Act by the Numbers

 

President Obama Signs Montana Disaster Declaration

 

Statement by the President on the Tragic Ferry Sinking Off the Coast of the Republic of Korea

 

First Lady Michelle Obama to Address 2014 Graduating Seniors

 

FACT SHEET: Building on Progress – Supporting Solar Deployment and Jobs

 

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President Obama Schedule || Friday, August 18,2014

 

10:00 am || Receives the Presidential Daily Briefing


10:45 am || Meets with Treasury Secretary Lew


11:35 am || Meets with the National Commander and Executive Director of the American Legion


2:00 am || Presents the Commander-in-Chief Trophy to the United States Naval Academy football team

 

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The one sentence from President Obama’s press conference that Democrats should pay attention to


Originally posted on The Fifth Column:

The Washington Post – Chris Cillizza

President Obama delivered a statement in the White House press briefing room touting the signup successes of the Affordable Care Act. He also took four questions from reporters — running the gamut from the situation in Ukraine to the ACA to the possibility of immigration reform. But, for Democrats running for office this November, there was one line in particular worth paying close attention to.

President Barack Obama speaks in the briefing room of the White House in Washington, Thursday, April 17, 2014. The president spoke about health care overhaul and the situation in Ukraine. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

President Barack Obama speaks in the briefing room of the White House in Washington, Thursday, April 17, 2014. The president spoke about health care overhaul and the situation in Ukraine. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

Asked by Politico’s Edward Isaac-Dovere whether he would advise Democrats to campaign on Obamacare this fall, the president, eventually, said this: “I think Democrats should forcefully defend and be proud of the fact….we’re helping because of something we did.”  He added that Republicans would have to…

View original 213 more words

Naked Asparagus


Originally posted on Rufus' Food and Spirits Guide:

Fresh raw asparagus, think of the outcome

Fresh raw asparagus, think of the outcome

This is a great starter salad or side for barbecued meat. Make sure to use fresh young asparagus stalks.

Raw Asparagus Salad

  • 1 bunch fresh asparagus stalks, about 12
  • Romano
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp lemon zest
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
  • Salt/pepper

Using a vegetable peeler peel stalks of asparagus from the tip to the base into thin long ribbons. Snap off the tips and leave them whole. Grate Romano into thin strips until there is about a quarter cup of cheese. Mix everything together and season to taste with salt pepper and more olive oil and cheese if need be.

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8 Million People Have Signed Up For Private Health Coverage Thanks To The Patient Protection And Affordable Care Act (ObamaCARES).


 

By Jueseppi B.

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President Obama: 8 Million People Have Signed Up for Private Health Coverage

 

Speaking from the White House Briefing Room this afternoon, President Obama announced that 8 million Americans have signed up for private health coverage thanks to the Affordable Care Act.

 

 

 

 

President Obama Speaks to the Press

 

Published on Apr 17, 2014

Before taking questions from the press in the White House Press Briefing Room, President Obama announces that 8 million people signed up for private health coverage in the Health Insurance Marketplace. April 17, 2014.

 

 

 

 

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He noted that 35 percent of those people are under 35 years old.

 

What’s more, costs associated with expanding coverage under the Affordable Care Act are lower than expected:

 

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And health care costs are growing at the slowest level on record. That slower growth in spending is reflected across Medicare, Medicaid, and private insurance:

 

acacbonumbers_2

 

Take a look at a few more important numbers, from a fact sheet released today:

 

  • 8 million people signed up for private insurance in the Health Insurance Marketplace. For states that have Federally-Facilitated Marketplaces, 35 percent of those who signed up are under 35 years old, and 28 percent are between 18 and 34 years old, virtually the same youth percentage that signed up in Massachusetts in its first year of health reform.

 

  • 3 million young adults gained coverage thanks to the Affordable Care Act by being able to stay on their parents’ plan.

 

  • 3 million more people were enrolled in Medicaid and CHIP as of February, compared to before the Marketplaces opened. Medicaid and CHIP enrollment continues year-round.

 

  • 5 million people are enrolled in plans that meet ACA standards outside the Marketplace, according to a CBO estimate. When insurers set premiums for next year, they are required to look at everyone who enrolled in plans that meet ACA standards, both inside and outside the Marketplace.

 

  • 5.7 million people will be uninsured in 2016 because 24 states have chosen not to expand Medicaid — even though this expansion would be of no cost to states, as the President pointed out in today’s briefing.

 

obama-thank-you-auto-reply

 

The bottom line, as the President said: “This thing is working.

 

#8Million#8Million#8Million#8Million#8Million#8Million#8Million#8Million

 

FACT SHEET: Affordable Care Act by the Numbers

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The Affordable Care Act is working.  It is giving millions of middle class Americans the health care security they deserve, it is slowing the growth of health care costs and it has brought transparency and competition to the Health Insurance Marketplace.

HEALTH CARE BY THE NUMBERS

  • 8 million people signed up for private insurance in the Health Insurance Marketplace. For states that have Federally-Facilitated Marketplaces, 35 percent of those who signed up are under 35 years old and 28 percent are between 18 and 34 years old, virtually the same youth percentage that signed up in Massachusetts in their first year of health reform.

 

  • 3 million young adults gained coverage thanks to the Affordable Care Act by being able to stay on their parents plan.

 

  • 3 million more people were enrolled in Medicaid and CHIP as of February, compared to before the Marketplaces opened. Medicaid and CHIP enrollment continues year-round.

 

  • 5 million people are enrolled in plans that meet ACA standards outside the Marketplace, according to a CBO estimate. When insurers set premiums for next year, they are required to look at everyone who enrolled in plans that meet ACA standards, both on and off the Marketplace.

 

  • 5.7 million people will be uninsured in 2016 because 24 States have not expanded Medicaid.

 

obamacare2

 

HEALTH CARE COST GROWTH IS LOWEST IN DECADES

  • Health care costs are growing at the slowest level on record:Since the law passed, real per capita health care spending is estimated to have grown at the lowest rate on record for any three-year period and less than one-third the long-term historical average stretching back to 1960. This slower growth in spending is reflected in Medicare, Medicaid, and private insurance.

 

  • CBO projects the deficit will shrink more and premiums will be lower than expected: CBO previously estimated that the ACA will reduce the deficit by $1.7 trillion over two decades, and, just this week, CBO concluded that lower-than-expected Marketplace premiums and other recent developments will cut $104 billion from our deficit over the next ten years. The CBO report also projects that lower-than-expected premiums will help to save $5 billion this year, and that lower premiums will persist in the years ahead, remaining 15 percent below projections by 2016 (the only year in which CBO provides a precise estimate).

 

  • Medicare spending growth is down: Medicare per capita spending is growing at historically low rates.  This week, for the fifth straight year, the CBO reduced its projections for Medicare spending over the next 10 years – this time by $106 billion.  CBO projects that Medicare and Medicaid costs in 2020 will be $180 billion below its 2010 estimates.  Recent economic research suggests that the ACA’s reforms to Medicare may have “spillover effects” that reduce costs and improve quality across the health care system, not just in Medicare.

 

BlYKeYVCUAAsrRB

 

 

THE SECURITY OF HEALTH INSURANCE FOR MILLIONS OF MIDDLE CLASS FAMILIES

  • Up to 129 million Americans with pre-existing conditions – including up to 17 million children – no longer have to worry about being denied health coverage or charged higher premiums because of their health status.

 

  • 71 million Americans with private insurance have gained coverage for at least one free preventive health care service such as mammograms, birth control, or immunizations in 2011 and 2012.

 

  • In 2013, 37 million people with Medicare received at least one preventive service at no out of pocket cost.

 

  • Approximately 60 million Americans have gained expanded mental health and substance use disorder benefits and/or federal parity protections.

 

  • Since the health care law was enacted, almost 8 million seniors havesaved nearly $10 billion on prescription drugs as the health care law closes Medicare’s “donut hole.”

 

  • 105 million Americans no longer have to worry about having their health benefits cut off after they reach a lifetime limit.

 

@BarackObama The Affordable Care Act is working—for millions of Americans.

@BarackObama
The Affordable Care Act is working—for millions of Americans.

 

Eight Million Joey B.

Eight Million Joey B.

Can Ya'll Haters Please Kiss My Entire Black Ass?

Can Ya’ll Haters Please Kiss My Entire Black Ass?

Eight Million.....And Counting.

Eight Million…..And Counting.

#8Million #8Million #8Million  #8Million  #8Million  #8Million  #8Million  #8Million  #8Million  #8Million #8Million

#8Million #8Million #8Million #8Million #8Million #8Million #8Million #8Million #8Million #8Million #8Million

Lets give a hand for eight million.

Lets give a hand for eight million.

AxXLohKCAAEanTT

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President Barack Hussein Obama Welcomes The Wounded Warrior Project’s Soldier Ride To His House.


 

By Jueseppi B.

 

Obama And Biden Welcome Wounded Warrior Project Soldier Ride To White House

 

The Wounded Warrior Project’s Soldier Ride at the White House

 

Published on Apr 17, 2014

President Obama welcomes Wounded Warrior Project’s Soldier Ride to the White House in celebration of the seventh annual Soldier Ride. A cycling event to help Wounded Warriors restore their physical and emotional well-being, the Soldier Ride also raises awareness of our nation’s Wounded Warriors who battle the physical and psychological damages of war.

 

 

 

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Remarks by the President Welcoming the Wounded Warrior Project’s Soldier Ride

South Lawn

11:06 A.M. EDT

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THE PRESIDENT:  Hello, everybody!  (Applause.)  Welcome to the White House.  Thank you to Ric for not just a nice introduction, but more importantly, for your outstanding service to our country and for your service to our veterans and fellow wounded warriors.

Now, I also want to mention that our Vice President here has been relentless in his support, along with our spouses, Michelle and Jill Biden, for military families.  And we’re very proud of everything that Joe has done.

This is now the fifth time that I’ve had the honor of welcoming the Soldier Ride to the White House.  And I have to tell you, this is one of my favorite events of the year.  First of all, you know it’s spring when — or at least it’s supposed to be spring — (laughter) — when the Soldier Ride comes around.  But mainly, it’s because those who participate are such an incredible inspiration to me and to our country.

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To all the riders, you look outstanding, especially after biking 17 miles yesterday.  You’re doing another 17 miles tomorrow, another 17 miles after that — all told, nearly 60 miles.  Today we wanted to come cheer you on.  And I think we’ve got some folks from the Army here, is that right?  (Hooah!)  And the Navy.  (Hooyah!)  Air Force.  (Applause.)  Marines.  (Oorah!)  Oh, that was good.  (Laughter.)  Coast Guard.  (Applause.)  And we’ve got some extraordinary families here today.  (Applause.)  Yay, families.

By now, everybody knows the story about how this got started.  You had a bartender on Long Island, Chris Carney, who came up with the idea of riding his bike across America to support wounded warriors.  Chris couldn’t be here today.  He owns a gym now; I think you all inspired him to trade the bar in for some barbells.  But today there are Soldier Rides all across the country, and we want to thank everybody at the Wounded Warriors Project for their incredible support.

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I know some of you are doing this for the very first time; some of you have ridden three or four times.  Some of you are riding in tandem with your parents.  Biking nearly 60 miles in three days would be a challenge for anybody, but for all of you this is a lot more than a bike ride — this is a mark of how far you’ve come.

Many of you are recovering from devastating injuries.  Some of you have had to learn the basics all over again — how to stand again, how to walk again, how to run again.  And now you’re here today because that’s what Soldier Ride is all about — seeing each other through the finish line.

Lieutenant Commander John Jae Terry is here.  Three years ago, he was on foot patrol in Afghanistan when he was hit by an IED, ended up losing his leg.  But reflecting on his service, he said he would do it all again.  Now, he’s got a new goal — get in the best shape possible so he can play with his three kids.  And so today he’s here on his first Soldier Ride.

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You’ve got Master Sergeant Louis Alfonso Ramirez.  Serving in Afghanistan, he lost good friends in a terrible ambush.  He even assisted at the airport as they began their dignified transfer home.  Later diagnosed with post-traumatic stress, credits the Wounded Warriors Project with helping him heal.  He says, “You know that they got you.”  This is now his fourth ride.

Sergeant Major Sedrick Banks is here.  An explosion in Iraq left him with injuries to his neck and his back, and traumatic brain injury.  But after years of rehab, Cedric is focused on the future.  He volunteers here in Washington, helps mentor young men with the life skills they need to succeed.  He calls himself now a “warrior for society.”  This is his first Soldier Ride.

Major Jeanette Nieves-Ayala is here.  And I first met Jeanette a few years ago at Walter Reed, where she was recovering from an injury received in Iraq.  As some of you know, when I visit with our troops I often hand out coins marked with the Seal of the President.  Jeanette shook my hand and she said, Mr. President, all these men think your coin is the best; I don’t.  I made a bet with them that there was a coin that could trump yours.  I said, what are you talking about?  She said, I want the First Lady’s coin.  (Laughter.)  The First Lady’s coin would beat yours.

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Now, it is true that the First Lady trumps me.  But Jeanette says her proudest accomplishment is being a peer mentor to other wounded warriors.  She says that during her recovery, “I was definitely being carried.  Now I feel like I am helping to carry others.”  So I want to thank you, Jeanette.

This ride is first and foremost for these incredible riders.  But it’s men and women like John and Louis and Cedric and Jeanette and all of you who make the ride so special for all of us, because you inspire us.  You inspire the country, some of whom will be out cheering along your ride.  You inspire me with your courage, your resolve, your resilience, your tenacity, your optimism.  It makes me proud to be your Commander-in-Chief.  And Michelle and I treasure every moment that we get to spend with you and your families.

Every day I have the honor of serving as this country’s Commander-in-Chief.  And as long as I have that honor, I will keep fighting to make sure you and your families get the care and treatment and benefits that you have earned and deserve.  When people ask of you to serve your country, to give your all to make your sacrifices, you’ve raised your hands.  You’ve stepped up.  You’ve held up your end of the bargain.  And it’s especially now, as we’re winding down the war in Afghanistan, after having ended over a decade of war, that we are standing up for you.  Our obligations to our veterans endure for your entire lives.  That’s our mission.  That’s why we’re here not just during this ride, but all year long.

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So with that, the sun is out.  It’s a spectacular day.  The racers look like they’re ready.  I think it’s time for us to get this party started.

God bless you.  God bless America.  Let’s get this going.  (Applause.)

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END
11:13 A.M. EDT

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Cheering on riders at the Wounded Warrior Project's Solider Ride this morning. #JoiningForces

Cheering on riders at the Wounded Warrior Project’s Solider Ride this morning. #JoiningForces

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President Obama high fives a rider as he welcomes the Wounded Warrior Project’s Soldier Ride to the White House

President Obama high fives a rider as he welcomes the Wounded Warrior Project’s Soldier Ride to the White House

President Obama makes a face as Nancy Loubin takes a photo of him at Wounded Warriors event at White House today

President Obama makes a face as Nancy Loubin takes a photo of him at Wounded Warriors event at White House today

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