As of January 2015, a federal program subsidizing cellphone service for low-income people exists, however, it does not give free phones and was not created by the Barack Obama administration. The modern program is an extension of a program created by the Federal Communication Commission in 1984.
Several companies that provide discounted service do provide free phones themselves. The FCC originally created the Lifeline benefit program to give discounts for landline telephone service and for installation fees. As cellphone usage has increased, the Lifeline program was expanded to include cellphones. While Obama's administration has continued the Lifeline program, other presidents have overseen its milestones. Lifeline was started under Ronald Reagan, expanded under Bill Clinton, and first expanded to include cellphones under George W. Bush.