President Obama signs major healthcare reform bill into law
President Obama with much fanfare but still without Republican support signed the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act into law on Tuesday.
"We have now just enshrined the core principle that everybody should have some basic security when it comes to their health," the president told the assembled crowd at the White House signing ceremony.
Among those in attendance was Victoria Kennedy, widow of the late Sen. Ted Kennedy (D-MA), who had championed healthcare reform for nearly the entirety of his more-than 40-year Senate career. Kennedy died of brain cancer in 2009. One of his contributions to the healthcare bill is the Community Living Assistance Services and Supports (CLASS) Act, which will create a voluntary long-term care insurance program that will help defray some of the costs of Medicaid.
Republicans, none of whom voted for the measure on Sunday night, continue to voice criticism of the law. More than a dozen introduced a bill to repeal it. Attorneys general from 13 states also filed suit to rescind it. Meanwhile, the Senate is working to pass a companion reconciliation bill.