March 23rd, 2010
11:52 AM ET

Obama signs health care bill into law

[Updated at 11:55 a.m.] President Barack Obama has now signed into law a sweeping health care reform bill to enact the nation's most substantial social legislation in four decades and achieve a top priority of his administration.

Right before signing the bill Obama said the health care legislation is an "extraordinary achievement."

"We are not a nation that scales back its aspirations," he said. "We are not a nation that falls prey to doubt or mistrust. We don't fall prey to fear. We are not a nation that does what's easy. It's not who we are. It's not how we got here. We are a nation that faces its challenges and accepts its responsibilities."

[Updated at 11:52 a.m.] President Obama introduced the widow of the late Sen. Ted Kennedy, who championed health care reform.

"It's fitting that Ted's widow Vicki is here, and his niece, Caroline, his son, Patrick, whose vote helped make this health care reform a reality."

Patrick Kennedy is a congressman from Rhode Island.

[Updated at 11:48 a.m.] President Barack Obama said he's signing the health reform bill on behalf of several people, including his mother - "who argued with insurance companies even as she battled cancer in her final days."

[Updated at 11:46 a.m.] President Obama praised Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and congressional committee chairs,  saying, "We are blessed by leaders in each chamber who not only do their jobs very well, but who never lost sight of the larger mission. They didn't play for the short term. They didn't play to the polls or the politics."

[Updated at 11:44 a.m.] President Obama said that under provisions of the health care bill that will take effect this year, small businesses will receive tax credits to help cover insurance, insurance companies won't be able to drop people's coverage when they get sick, and uninsured Americans and  parents of children with pre-existing conditions will be able to purchase coverage.

[Updated at 11:38 a.m.] President Obama, greeted by applause from enthusiastic backers of his health care reform legislation, said, "Today after almost a century of trying, today after over a year of debate, today after all the votes have been tallied, health insurance reform becomes law in the United States of America."

Obama said he "is confident" the Senate will make improvements on the health care reform bill "swiftly." He said some health care reforms will take some time to phase in, but others will "take effect right away."

[Updated at 11:36 a.m.] Vice President Joe Biden, praising President Barack Obama's leadership in forging health care reform legislation, said, "Mr.
President, you've done what generations of not just ordinary, but great men and women have attempted to do. ...  "You delivered on a promise, a promise you made to all Americans when we moved into this building," the White House.

[Updated at 11:27 a.m.] Vice President Joe Biden, introducing President Barack Obama before the health care reform bill signing, said, "this is a historic day."

[Posted at 11:23 a.m.] President Obama is set to sign a landmark health care reform bill into law at the White House on Tuesday.

The measure is a huge boost for Obama, who made health care reform a top priority.

President Obama will use 20 pens to sign the bill into law - a symbolic and customary gesture - so that he can give away the pens later as an honorary piece of history.

Now that the House has passed the Senate's health care reform bill and a package meant to reconcile differences between the House and Senate bills, the next step is for members of the Senate to sign off on those changes.

See our complete health care coverage

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Filed under: Barack Obama • Congress • Health Care
soundoff (314 Responses)
  1. Jo

    Cue, the crazy right wing comments in 3,2,1....

    March 23, 2010 at 11:47 am | Report abuse |
  2. Mark

    Having to promote it after he forced it is hypocritical.

    March 23, 2010 at 11:53 am | Report abuse |
  3. Amber Bustillos

    Thank you Mr. President!!! For all of the good you are doing for America!!!!

    March 23, 2010 at 11:54 am | Report abuse |
  4. clr

    Speaking of Irony (the day Obama signs the HC bill PH proclaimed):

    March 23, 1775: Patrick Henry exclaims, "Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty or give me death!".

    March 23, 2010 at 11:55 am | Report abuse |
  5. Maejing

    I guess this could be a really silly questions but.....

    If all the constituants were really represented for this Health Care bill, why does the President need to "hit the road to sell the bill to the American people?"

    March 23, 2010 at 11:55 am | Report abuse |
  6. joe

    get a cheap policy and flood the system with claims.. it will be fun to see liberal eyeballs bulge..

    March 23, 2010 at 11:58 am | Report abuse |
  7. Grison

    Thank you President Obama

    March 23, 2010 at 11:59 am | Report abuse |
  8. Laurie

    Wow, what a proud day! This president has such courage, he stayed the course and didn't allow his agenda to be hijacked by the Party of NO with their lies. He stands for all Americans, not just the rich and the white (for which I qualify in both counts), he stands for what is right. Perhaps if the Republicans and done something this positive in their 8 years of control we could give them credit, instead they chose to spend our fortunes on wars and tax cuts for the rich and took our economy to the brink with enormous deficit growth.

    March 23, 2010 at 11:59 am | Report abuse |
  9. stephanie burnett

    So proud to see history being made. So proud of Obama right now. He made History 2x. First African American President and first president to do what no other President has been able to do. To all politicians and stations who are going to smear his name and to put fear into America because of this, shame on you..you are a disgrace to what we stand for.

    Americans Thankful To Obama For Health Care Reform

    March 23, 2010 at 12:00 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Sarah

    Are you kidding me? Why can't he stay in one place and DO his JOB! Stop campaigning already!

    March 23, 2010 at 12:01 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Heather

    Wow, Obama said we all came together to make this bill happen!

    So I am confused why it is Obama now has to travel America to "sell the bill to the American people". Or why it is that he is telling us that we will learn to like it, after it is law and after we see what is in it.

    Each day this man is President, I get more and more confused.

    March 23, 2010 at 12:01 pm | Report abuse |
  12. HRS

    To all the politicians who voted for this bill and signed into law. You have my vote where I vote and my support in areas I am not eligible to vote in the upcoming term. That took a lot of guts to stand up to the people without sound arguements who did anything to thwart the bill for their own political gain and agenda.

    March 23, 2010 at 12:05 pm | Report abuse |
  13. RC115SHEPHERD

    And as we go into halftime, our score is Good 6 Evil 0. We'll see what new stratigies Evil will come out of the locker room with when the second half begins.

    March 23, 2010 at 12:05 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Kestas

    Yes, we did!

    March 23, 2010 at 12:06 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Henry Flynn

    Soon after he signs the bill, although the bill has some good things in it, it also is the first steps toward installing socialism in America! The signing of the bill is an act of treason. Treason is an attempt to overthrow our govenment and yet the democrats allow such. He also went against his vows, when he took office, to uphold the constitution. There are parts of this bill that are unconstitutional. In my opinion, he should be impeached and charged with treason. There will be no charges brought because our AG will not charge anyone with anything. He also dropped the charges against the Black Panthers for voter intimidation. The president appointed people who would let him do whatever he wants, no matter how wrong it is! At least the AG of the states are taking their separate cases to court, the part that is unconstitutional!

    March 23, 2010 at 12:06 pm | Report abuse |
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