Obama Signs Health Reform Into Law
Battle over $938B measure sets tone for midterm elections
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Mar 23, 2010 11:15 AM CDT
Vicki Kennedy, widow of Sen. Ted Kennedy, blows a kiss as she arrives in the East Room of the White House in Washington, Tuesday, March 23, 2010, for the signing of the health care bill.    (J. Scott Applewhite)
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(Newser) – A broadly smiling President Obama signed a historic $938 billion health care overhaul this morning at the White House. The measure guarantees coverage for 32 million uninsured Americans and will touch nearly every citizen's life, representing the biggest shift in US domestic policy since the 1960s. A joyous crowd of proponents packed the East Room for the ceremony, capping a divisive, yearlong debate that could define the November elections.

Celebrating "a new season in America"—the biggest accomplishment of his White House and one denied to a line of presidents before him—Obama made the massive bill law. "Today after almost a century of trial, 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. Today," Obama said, interrupted by applause after nearly every sentence. "All of the overheated rhetoric over reform will finally confront the reality of reform."