Tuesday, March 23, 2010
Using 20 different pens, President Barack Obama signed into law the sweeping healthcare reform legislation on Tuesday.
The Affordable Health Care for America Act — debated over 14 months, became law in a ceremony in the East Room of the White House. Surrounded by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, as well as an enormous group of Democratic lawmakers who spent the past year on a legislative roller-coaster ride trying to pass it.
Also in attendance, Vicki Reggie Kennedy, the widow of the late Sen. Ted Kennedy of Massachusetts, who spent much of his long senate career trying to enact health care legislation. Sen. Kennedy died last year.
The landmark bill, passed by the House on Sunday night by a vote of 219-212, will provide coverage to an estimated 30 million people who currently lack coverage. Its passage assures President Obama a unique place in history as the American president who succeeded at revamping the nation’s health care system where others tried and failed.