This morning, I gathered with members of Congress, my administration, and hardworking volunteers from every part of the country to sign comprehensive health care reform into law.
Thanks to the immeasurable efforts of so many, the dream of reform is now a reality.
The bill I just signed puts Americans in charge of our own health care by enacting three key changes:
It establishes the toughest patient protections in history.
It guarantees all Americans affordable health insurance options, extending coverage to 32 million who are currently uninsured.
And it reduces the cost of care — cutting over 1 trillion dollars from the federal deficit over the next two decades.
To ensure a successful, stable transition, many of these changes will phase into full effect over the next several years.
But for millions of Americans, many of the benefits of reform will begin this year — some even taking effect this afternoon. Here are just a few examples:
Small businesses will receive significant tax cuts, this year, to help them afford health coverage for all their employees.
Seniors will receive a rebate to reduce drug costs not yet covered under Medicare.
Young people will be allowed coverage under their parents’ plan until the age of 26.
Early retirees will receive help to reduce premium costs.
Children will be protected against discrimination on the basis of medical history.
Uninsured Americans with pre-existing conditions can join a special high-risk pool to get the coverage they need, starting in just 90 days.
Insured Americans will be protected from seeing their insurance revoked when they get sick, or facing restrictive annual limits on the care they receive.
All Americans will benefit from significant new investments to train primary care doctors, nurses, and public health professionals, and the creation of state-level consumer assistance programs to help all patients understand and defend our new rights.
As I’ve said many times, and as I know to be true, this astounding victory could not have been achieved without your tireless efforts.
So as we celebrate this great day, I want to invite you to add your name where it belongs: alongside mine as a co-signer of this historic legislation. Organizing for America will record the names of co-signers as a permanent commemoration of those who came together to make this moment possible — all of you who refused to give up until the dream of many generations for affordable, quality care for all Americans was finally fulfilled.
So, if you haven’t yet, please add your name here as a proud health care reform co-signer today.
Please accept my thanks for your voice, for your courage, and for your indispensable partnership in the great work of creating change.
History, and I, are in your debt.
-President Barack Obama