Posted: Mar 23, 2010 11:15 AM by Associated Press
Updated: Mar 23, 2010 1:23 PM
President Barack Obama has signed the $938 billion health care overhaul that guarantees coverage for 32 million uninsured Americans and represents the biggest accomplishment of his presidency.
The new law will be the main issue in this fall's midterm elections. Obama signed the bill at an elaborate ceremony Tuesday in the East Room of the White House, to be followed by an even larger celebration at an Interior Department auditorium.
Obama says members of Congress took their "lumps" over health care reform - and he's getting no argument from them.
One lawmaker responded, "Yes, we did," after Obama pointed out the political beating that some members are taking on the issue.
Speaking to a large group of lawmakers before signing the health care bill at the White House Tuesday, the president paid tribute to what he called the "historic leadership and uncommon courage" of the members of Congress who pushed ahead with the measure amid the often heated debate.
Obama is setting out on the road later this week to try to minimize the political damage to lawmakers over the health care bill by convincing the American people of its merits.
Following Obama's signing of the legislation, 13 GOP state attorneys general filed suit to stop the health care overhaul, claiming it's unconstitutional.