Congratulations to Congress and the Obama Administration for passing historic Health Care Reform in the U.S. House of Representatives 220 to 211. This is the first time when Comprehensive Health Care Reform for all Americans has passed. Implementing Medicare was important legislation enacted almost 50 years ago, but it was only for Seniors, not for all Americans. The next step to complete this important task comes on Tuesday, 3/23/2010 when the Senate will embrace added changes made by the House and pass the bill through a simple majority of reconciliation.
House Passes Senate Health Care Bill
President Obama on the Passage of Health Reform
President Obama said this evening on passage of the Health Care Reform Bill in Congress:
“We proved that we are still a people capable of doing Big things, of tackling our biggest challenges. We proved that this government of the people and by the people still works for the people.”
“In the end, what this day represents is another stone firmly laid in the foundation of the American Dream. Tonight we answer the call of history as so many Americans have done before.
When faced with crisis we did not shrink from our challenge, we overcame it. We did not avoid our responsibility, we embraced it. We did not fear our future, we shaped it.
Thank you. God Bless you and May God Bless the United States of America.”
Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi’s final floor speech for the health care reform bill
Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi, said at a press conference after the Bill Passed:
“It is with great pride and great humility that we undertook this great act of patriotism that occurred on the House floor tonight.
It honored the vows of our founders for us to be a land of opportunity all the way back to before we were a country in the Declaration of Independence talking about “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.” That defines opportunity, and so too did this Bill tonight.
Opportunity for affordable education, to lower the cost of education and the other part of the Bill, the main part of the Bill, to provide quality affordable health care for all Americans enabling people to have the freedom to have a healthier life, to have the liberty to pursue their own happiness. They could change jobs without losing health care. They could become self-employed, they could start a small business. They could follow their own passion, and wouldn’t that be great for them, and for our economy and for our society.
So we believe that this Act that was passed tonight is an All American Act honoring our Founder’s vows to the future, and honoring our commitment to the future by making it a healthier one and a fiscally sound one.
- 32 million more Americans having access to health care.
- $1.3 Trillion saved for the taxpayer and
- Accountability for the insurance companies so they cannot come between patients and their doctors.
It happened because we had the leadership of the President of the United States as a visionary as a strategist and as a persuader.”
Majority Whip, Representative James E. Clyburn said at the House Democratic press conference:
“I consider this to be the Civil Rights Act of the 21st Century. I do believe that this is the one fundamental right that this country has been wrestling with for almost 100 years. I think tonight we took a giant step toward the establishment of a more perfect Union.”
House Democratic Caucus Vice Chairman, Rep. Xavier Becerra of California said at the Press Conference:
“I have a riddle for you. What do pre-existing conditions, donut holes and medical bankruptcies have in common with CD’s, hummers and polyester suits? After today’s vote I think it’s a lot safer to say that they’re, “Gone baby Gone.”
America is about ideas, it’s about change, it’s about progress, and America is about leadership. Today, in the House, I believe we made America proud. And all of us who had the courage to know to vote for change and to vote for Health Care Reform are ready to say we are ready to put America back on track and back to work.”
Dean of the House Representatives, Rep. John Dingle, said at the House Democratic press conference:
Because Pop started out on this, Madame Speaker, in 1914, where they fired him for Union activities and sent him west to die of tuberculosis. Well he fooled them, and if he hadn’t done that I wouldn’t be here talking to you tonight.
But what we’ve done tonight is something that is behind every other major industrial country in the world. But we finally did it and we did it without a single Republican vote, and that was a remarkable feat of leadership by yourself, Madame Speaker, and by Senator Reid over in the Senate where he provided some very remarkable leadership.
This is an extraordinary bill. You’ve heard the good things that it does. There is one very large gripe which we’re hearing, and it’s the only complaint that I’ve heard which is right. And that is that the insurance companies are complaining that we’re going to cut medicare. And they’re right. But we’re only going to cut the Medicare which overpays them by 150%.
Now that will show a little bit about the kind of falsehoods. I’ve got to tell you the air has been redolent with falsehoods and deceit. And, Madame Speaker persisted clear through this, and my colleagues stuck. And, nobody ran when the heat got high.
I want you to know that I’m very proud of this leadership and of my colleagues who made some very hard and difficult votes for which they should be proud and for which they will be rewarded for re-election because they showed courage and wisdom and they did something that was very important.
But my dear friends, there is something else. Now when Americans lose their jobs, now when Americans go to bed, they won’t have to worry when they get up the next morning, “Are they going to have health insurance?”
We have established a basic principle now finally and the Bill is going to the President to be signed that says: Health and good health and health insurance and health care are not a matter of privilege for the privileged few, but rather they should be for everyone.
And, that the government has finally decided, that we’re going to take care of that. So, when it’s seen what we have done for the people, they’re going to understand and they going to rejoice. And they’re going to finally recognize that those who were out to tell falsehoods and make untrue statements about this matter deserve to be rejected at the polls.
And they are going to understand finally that this nation is moving forward in a fiscally responsible way saving not billions & hundreds of billions, but trillions of dollars!
So when you’re looking for good people to solve difficult problems, look at my colleagues out there on the floor who did it, and look around me, because they are the best.