President Obama Signs the Landmark Health Reform Bill into Law

President Obama Signs the Landmark Health Reform Bill into Law

Congress gave final approval on Sunday night to historic health reform legislation that will provide medical coverage to tens of millions of uninsured Americans and remake the nation’s health care system along the lines initially proposed by President Obama.  When the decisive 216th vote went up on the electronic tally board in the House chamber, Democrats erupted in cheers and reprised the “Yes, we can!” chant from the Obama presidential campaign.

On Tuesday, President Obama signed into law a landmark health care reform bill, presiding over the biggest shift in U.S. domestic policy since the 1960s and capping a year of vigorous debate.  The law will bring near-universal coverage to a wealthy country in which tens of millions of people have been left uninsured.

We have now just enshrined the core principle that everybody should have some basic security when it comes to their health,” Obama said at a signing ceremony at the White House.  President Obama was joined by House and Senate legislators who backed the bill, as well as by ordinary Americans whose health care struggles have touched the president.

President Obama On Passage of the Health Reform Legislation

President Obama Signs Health Reform Into Law

Slide Show: President Obama Signs the Landmark Health Reform Bill into Law

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President Obama: The “Time for Bickering” About Health Care is Over

President Obama: The “Time for Bickering” About Health Care is Over

After weathering a number of setbacks during the summer, on Wednesday night President Barack Obama spoke to a joint session of Congress and called upon them to enact sweeping health care legislation.  Obama declared that the moment has arrived to protect millions of people who have either unreliable insurance or no coverage at all.  Obama said the changes he proposes would cost about $900 billion over decade, “less than we have spent on the Iraq and Afghanistan wars and less than the tax cuts for the wealthiest few Americans” passed during the Bush administration.

He said there is widespread agreement on about 80 percent of what must be included in legislation.  And yet, criticizing Republicans without overtly saying so, he added, “Instead of honest debate, we have seen scare tactics and ideological warfare that offers no hope for compromise.”  “Well, the time for bickering is over,” he said. “The time for games has passed. Now is the season for action.  I am not the first president to take up this cause, but I am determined to be the last.”

President Obama: The “Time for Bickering” About Health Care is Over

Rachel Maddow Reports On President Obama’s Health Care Speech To Congress

The full-text of President Obama’s speech to Congress can be read here.

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