Obama signs health-care bill shortly before noon today
WASHINGTON (AP) — A broadly smiling President Barack Obama, shortly before noon today, signed a historic $938 billion health-care overhaul that guarantees coverage for 32 million uninsured Americans and will touch nearly every citizen's life, presiding over the biggest shift in U.S. domestic policy since the 1960s and 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 with an East Room signing ceremony.
He was joined by jubilant House and Senate Democrats as well as lesser-known people whose health-care struggles have touched the president. Obama scheduled back-to-back events to mark the moment, with much of his White House audience, as well as hundreds of others, heading to the Interior Department immediately after the signing.