In the East Room of the White House today, flanked by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, President Obama signed into law the most significant health care legislation enacted in decades.
"We are not a nation that scales back its aspirations," Obama said. "We don’t fall prey to fear. We are not a nation that does what’s easy. That is not who we are, that’s not how we got here. We are a nation that faces its challenges and accepts its responsibilities."
The president dedicated the momentous occasion to several individuals, including his mother, "who argued with insurance companies even as she battled cancer in her final days," and Marcelas Owens, an 11-year old boy whose mother died after she fell ill and lost her job and insurance coverage.
While Democrats celebrate this health care victory, the legislative work on this measure continues. Senate Majority Harry Reid will today introduce a package of changes intended to improve the bill. "We have one more leg of this journey to complete," said Reid. "The Senate has worked closely with the House to make this good bill even better, and we plan to finish our work as soon as possible. This is the change that we were sent to Washington to deliver."