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The President Holds his 2015 EndofYear Press Conference
The President: Goodafternoon, everybody. Clearly, this is not themost important event that's taking place in theWhite House today. There is a screening of StarWars for Gold Star families and children coming up. So I'll try to berelatively succinct. Let me say a few words aboutthe year behind us and the year ahead, and then I'lltake a few questions.
As I look back on this year,one thing I see is that so much of our steady,persistent work over the years is paying off forthe American people in big, tangible ways. Our early actions to rescuethe economy set the stage for the longest streak ofprivate sector job growth on record, with 13.7 millionnew jobs in that time. The unemployment rate hasbeen cut in half
down to 5 percent. And most importantly, wagesgrew faster than at any time since the recovery began. So, over the courseof this year, a lot of the decisions thatwe made early on have paid off. Years of steadyimplementation of the Affordable Care Act helpedto drive the rate of the uninsured in America below10 percent for the first
time since recordswere kept on that. Health care prices havegrown at their lowest levels in five decades; 17 millionmore Americans have gained coverage, and we now knowthat six million people have signed up throughHealthCare.gov for coverage beginning on January 1st 600,000 on Tuesday alone. New customers are uponethird over last year. And the more who sign up,the stronger
the system becomes. And that's good news forevery American who no longer has to worry about beingjust one illness or accident away fromfinancial hardship. On climate, our earlyinvestment in clean energy ignited a cleanenergy industry boom. Our actions to help reduceour carbon emissions brought China to the table.
And last week, in Paris,nearly 200 nations forged an historic agreement that wasonly possible because of American leadership. Around the world fromreaching the deal to prevent Iran from developinga nuclear weapon, to reestablishing diplomaticrelations with Cuba, to concluding a landmarktrade agreement that will make sure that Americanworkers and American