Center for Strategic Communication

President Barack Obama holds a press conference (August 20, 2012)

President Barack Obama holds a press conference in the James S. Brady Press Briefing Room of the White House, Aug. 20, 2012. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

In an unscheduled visit to the White House briefing room this afternoon, President Obama took questions from reporters and discussed a big new announcement from the Department of Health and Human Services.

"Today, HHS announced that thanks to the health care law that we passed, nearly 5.4 million seniors with Medicare have saved over $4.1 billion on prescription drugs. That’s an average savings of more than $700 per person," he said. "This year alone, 18 million seniors with Medicare have taken advantage of new preventive care benefits like a mammogram or other cancer screening at no extra cost."

After being asked about the prospects for more action from lawmakers to help create jobs and grow the economy, the President reiterated his call to help millions of responsible homeowners save hundreds of dollars each month.

"We're going to be pushing Congress to see if they can pass a refinancing bill that puts $3,000 into the pockets of the average family who hasn’t yet refinanced their mortgage. That's a big deal," the President told reporters. "That $3,00 can be used to strengthen the equity in that person's home, which would raise home values. Alternatively, that's $3,000 in people's pockets that they can spend on a new computer for their kid going back to school, or new school clothes for their kids, and so that would strengthen the economy as well."

To learn more about the President's proposal, visit

At the podium, President Obama also answered questions about the uprising in Syria, the security of American servicemembers in Afghanistan, and the state of the 2012 political campaign.

Watch the President's full press conference here: