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Tuesday, March 23, 2010

LAW OF THE LAND, President Obama Signs Historic Health Care Reform Legislation

"new season in America."
More than a year's worth of intense political haggling, legislative maneuvering and emotional debate reached its stirring conclusion Tuesday morning as President Barack Obama officially signed health care reform legislation into law.
Speaking in the East Room of the White House, with roughly 200 lawmakers seated before him as well as Vicky Kennedy, the widow of the late Senator Ted Kennedy (D-Mass.), the president called the moment a "new season in America."
"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. In a few moments when I sign this bill, all of the overheated rhetoric of reform will finally confront the reality of reform."
"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."
Obama dedicated the signing to individuals whose stories of struggle have come to personify the need for reform. Included in that list was his mother, "who argued with insurance companies even as she battled cancer in her final days," the president said. Then he talked about his mentor in this fight, former Senator Kennedy.
"I remember seeing Ted walk through that door in the summit in this room a year ago, one of his last public appearances," Obama said. "It was hard for him to make it but he was confident we would do the right thing"
It was, undoubtedly, a moment of jubilation and relief for the president -- largely because few people in the administration anticipated how arduous the debate would be over the course of the year. Speaking just days before the House cast the deciding vote on Sunday, a senior White House official gave a hint at what kind of toll health care has taken on the administration.
"No president in this generation has spent as long a time on a singe legislative issue," the official said, explaining that he couldn't name a single comparable policy debate in recent administrations. LinkHere


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