WASHINGTON - President Barack Obama capped a yearlong political drama Tuesday, signing into law a landmark health care reform bill that had been seen as impossible just two months ago.
The president said the law "will set into motion what a generation of Americans have fought for."
He said he was confident the Senate would make fixes to the legislation "swiftly."
The president praised those House members who had "taken their lumps" during the overhaul debate. Shouted one lawmaker in the audience to laughter, "Yes we did!"
This wasn't just a major victory for Obama. This was a resounding defeat for the increasingly marginalized Republican Party and its controlling and now thoroughly repudiated conservative movement.
Make no mistake: Conservatives opposed this bill tooth and nail not because of its contents, but because they knew that success breeds success, and that the field is now much clearer for progressives to advance their agenda and heal the damage wrought by eight years of conservative rule. And the voters will continue to reward that success.
They fought this because they feared their own inconsequence. And in the process, they only made themselves even more so.