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White House Women’s Update: Check Out the New and Improved

Monday, June 24, 2013  
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White House Women's Update: Check Out the New and Improved


Today, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services is kicking off the Health Insurance Marketplace education effort with a new, consumer-focused website, and a 24-hour-a-day consumer call center. Wondering how the new health care law protects you? Click here to learn more.

Yesterday marked the 41st anniversary of Title IX. U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan recognized the anniversary with remarks acknowledging the work that still lies ahead to ensure that America’s girls have a fair shot at success.

On June 17th, NASA announcedits 2013 astronaut class. The class consists of candidates from diverse backgrounds and for the first time ever is composed of 50% women.

In case you missed it, on June 12th, the Presidentannouncedhis intent to appoint Betsey Stevenson, an economist at the University of Michigan, to the Council of Economic Advisers.

This July, the White House will host a "Champions of Change” event on Tech Inclusion. This event will celebrate local change-agents who are making moments of wonder and discovery happen for kids – specifically kids from communities underrepresented in technology, like girls and minorities. You can nominate a Champion of Change for Tech Inclusion here before July 1st.

And finally, also on June 18th, the Congressional Budget Office estimated that, if passed, the Senate immigration bill would reduce the deficit by almost $1 trillion over the next two decades.

Thank you for all that you do!

White House Council on Women & Girls

The New

Today, the Administration is kicking off the Health Insurance Marketplace education effort with a new, consumer-focused website and the 24-hours-a-day consumer call center to help Americans prepare for open enrollment and ultimately sign up for private health insurance. The new tools will help Americans understand their choices and select the coverage that best suits their needs when open enrollment in the new Health Insurance Marketplace begins October 1.

On the new site, Americans may now access new educational information and learn what they can do to begin to get ready for open enrollment this fall.The website will add functionality over the summer so that, by October, consumers will be able to create accounts, complete an online application, and shop for qualified health plans. For Spanish speaking consumers, will also be updated to match’s new consumer focus.

To view the new look and new focus of the website, visit

To find resources for your organization, technical marketplace information, or press materials-- visit these sites respectively:

41st Anniversary of Title IX

To recognize yesterday’s 41st anniversary of Title IX, U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan remarked, "Forty-one years ago, with the enactment of Title IX, Congress took an important step forward on the march toward equality. Since its inception in 1972, Title IX has helped ensure equal opportunity for girls and boys, and women and men, in every aspect of their education.”

"Thanks to Title IX, we’ve made great progress in creating pathways to success, but we must reaffirm our commitment to uphold its important principles. The Department of Education will continue to work hard to ensure equal access for students of both sexes to schools and programs that will prepare them for college and career, particularly in the subjects of science, technology, engineering, and math; to athletic opportunities, and all the benefits that flow from them; and to safe learning environments, free from sexual harassment and sexual violence. The Department will also continue to protect the rights of pregnant and parenting students.”

Read Secretary Duncan’s full remarks here.

NASA’s Announces its 21st Astronaut Class

From a near-record number of applicants, more than 6,100, NASA selected an extremely qualified class that represents a high degree of achievement and dedication to our nation's future. There are two Ph.D.'s represented, an M.D., and several naval aviators. They've served in the military, government and academia. They have the experience and physical and operational skills to help advance our nation's space program. The new astronaut class represents the full tapestry of our nation. They are African American, Native American, and, for the first time, representative of the population in terms of gender as 50% of them are women.

This is the highest percentage of women ever in a class of astronaut candidates, and will set a new standard for women in the science technology, engineering and mathematics fields. They will join the 43 American women who have already flown to space and the 12 women currently in NASA's astronaut corps. The announcement is especially meaningful as June 18th marked the 30th anniversary of Sally Ride's historic launch as the first American woman to space aboard the space shuttle.

Learn more about NASA’s announcement.

President Obama Nominates Betsey Stevenson to Council of Economic Advisers

On June 10th, President Obama announced his intent to appoint Betsey Stevenson, an economist at the University of Michigan focusing on labor, women, and families, to the Council of Economic Advisers. While she has written prolifically on a number of subjects, Dr. Stevenson is perhaps best known for her work on the impact of public policy on labor markets, marriage and divorce, women and families, and happiness and well-being.

For example, Dr. Stevenson has researched the impact of Title IX on young girls and found that "Greater opportunities to play sports lead to greater female participation in previously male-dominated occupations, particularly high-skill occupations.” She concluded that, "the experiment designed by Title IX proves that extracurricular activities like sports play an important role in creating the skills that make us so productive.”

Dr. Stevenson is currently an Associate Professor of Public Policy at the Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy at the University of Michigan. She has held professorships at Princeton and The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, and also worked for the Federal Reserve, among other positions. Dr. Stevenson received a B.A. from Wellesley College and an M.A. and Ph.D. from Harvard University.

Read more about Dr. Stevenson here.

Nominate a White House Champion of Change for Tech Inclusion

President Obama has set a goal to increase the number of graduates in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) by one million within the next ten years. Underrepresented minorities, women, and girls represent a valuable talent pool the country must tap into to meet the President’s goal. However, in order to expand the Nation’s tech talent pool, it will take all of us working together to knock down any barriers that stand in the way.

The Administration’s tech inclusion effortsaim to connect everyone to tech skills and opportunity, and ensure that we are all working together so the next generation of innovators is enriched by, and reflects the full diversity of, America. If you know someone who is making strides towards these goals and fits thesecriteria, nominate them hereby July 1st.

Congressional Budget Office Estimates that Senate Immigration Bill Would Reduce Deficit by Nearly $1 Trillion

The Congressional Budget Office, the nonpartisan experts who analyze the financial impact of legislation, believes that the Senate immigration bill would reduce the deficit by almost $1 trillion over the next two decades, if passed.

How does that work? Immigration reform means that undocumented immigrants can come out of the shadows and start paying taxes for things like education and Social Security. It means that everyone plays by the same set of rules -- which makes the economy fairer for middle class families.

Read more about their findings here.

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