President Barack Obama signs the America’s Promise Summit Declaration, in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington. From left are, John Gomperts, President and CEO, America’s Promise Alliance, Alma Powell, Chair, America’s Promise Alliance, the president, former Secretary of State Colin Powell, and former Pennsylvania Sen. Harris Wofford.
President Barack Obama answers a question about the performance of the Secret Service after a signing the America’s Promise Summit Declaration, in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington. The president said the Secret Service does “a great job.” He says he is grateful for the “sacrifices” the service performs on his behalf and on behalf of his family.
The day I finally got affordable health insurance, I practically ran through the streets yelling the good news. I wanted everyone in Atlanta to know that I was covered. Up until that moment, having insurance had been a constant uphill battle. My struggle to find affordable care began in 2012. I underwent an MRI and the results showed an anomaly in my brain. Following the procedure, I went through a bunch of tests to determine whether it was malignant. Thankfully, doctors assured me that it was benign, and I thought the worst was over. But the MRI results began to follow me. Health insurance companies didn’t care that it was benign—they used it as a reason to deny me coverage.
That’s why I signed up for health insurance through the new marketplace as soon as I possibly could, not only for my peace of mind, but for the good of my business. I chose a gold plan with a $2,500 deductible. It was an incredible feeling that, months later, still hasn’t gone away. I feel like being self-employed no longer means having to fend for myself. Since I got affordable care, my business has grown. I’ve been able to use the savings on my health insurance to hire part-time analysts and assistants to help. As a self-employed person, I feel like I’m finally on a level playing field with my friends who work at large companies with good health care plans.
The Obama administration on Tuesday announced a series of moves aimed at cutting emissions of hydrofluorocarbons, or HFCs, powerful greenhouse gases that contribute to climate change. The White House has secured voluntary agreements from some of the nation’s largest companies to scale down or phase out their use of HFCs, which are factory-made gases used in air conditioning and refrigeration. Coca-Cola, Pepsi, Red Bull, Kroger, Honeywell and DuPont, the company that invented fluorinated refrigerants, have agreed to cut their use and replace them with climate-friendly alternatives.
Over all, the administration estimated that the agreements announced on Tuesday would reduce cumulative global consumption of HFCs by the equivalent of 700 million metric tons of carbon dioxide through 2025. That is about 1.5 percent of the world’s 2010 greenhouse gas emissions, or the same as taking 15 million cars off the road for 10 years. “Every drumbeat in this symphony helps. It drives it along. This is part of that drumbeat,” said Durwood Zaelke, president of the Institute for Governance and Sustainable Development, a research organization. “The benefits from cutting non-CO2 come much faster,” he added. “CO2 is like a supertanker – you can stop it, but it keeps drifting for a long time. Cutting HFCs are like stopping a steamboat. You stop it and that’s that.”