Obama Signs Health Care Reform Into Law

Posted March 23, 2010 at 11:25am

Updated: 12:35 p.m.

President Barack Obama signed health care reform into law Tuesday, capping off a yearlong debate on an issue that divided the public and fueled partisanship on Capitol Hill.

Obama said he was signing the bill for, among others, “my mom, who argued with insurance companies even as she battled cancer in her final days.”

The president also honored the late Sen. Edward Kennedy (D-Mass.), a leader in the fight for reform, who was “confident we’d do the right thing.” Kennedy died last August and called health care reform “the cause of my life.”

Democratic Members of Congress gathered in the East Room of the White House for the signing and gave standing ovations to Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) as Obama singled them out for their work on the issue.

“It’s a great day for all Americans,” House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) said on his way out.