Administration of Barack H. Obama, 2010
Remarks on the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act
March 23, 2010
Thank you. Thank you, everybody. Please have a seat.
We wanted to do this twice—[
]—because there are so many people we have to
thank. And as I look around the room, we've got leaders of labor who helped to make this
happen, we've got ordinary folks who knocked on doors and made phone calls at the last
minute to get this thing over the top. My extraordinary members of my Cabinet—we've still got
some additional Members of Congress who helped lead the charge on this. There's my staff,
who I see are still here. [
] They—at any given moment, I thought they were going to
]—but they just stuck it out with me. So the main purpose here is to say thank
you, and thank you on behalf of the American people.
After a century of striving, after a year of debate, after a historic vote, health care reform is
no longer an unmet promise, it is the law of the land. It is the law of the land.
And although it may be my signature that's affixed to the bottom of this bill, it was your
work, your commitment, your unyielding hope that made this victory possible. When the
special interests deployed an army of lobbyists, an onslaught of negative ads to preserve the
status quo, you didn't give up. You hit the phones, and you took to the streets. You mobilized,
and you organized. You turned up the pressure, and you kept up the fight.
When the pundits were obsessing over who was up and who was down, you never lost
sight of what was right and what was wrong. You knew this wasn't about the fortunes of a party;
this was about the future of our country. And when the opposition said this just wasn't the right
time, you didn't want to wait another year or another decade or another generation for reform.
You felt the fierce urgency of now.
You met the lies with truth. You met cynicism with conviction. Most of all, you met fear
with a force that's a lot more powerful, and that is faith in America. You met it with hope.
Despite decades in which Washington failed to tackle our toughest challenges, despite the
smallness of so much of what passes for politics these days, despite those who said that progress
was impossible, you made people believe that people who love this country can still change it.
So this victory is not mine; it is your victory. It's a victory for the United States of America.
For 2 years on the campaign trail, and for the past year as we've worked to reform our
system of health insurance, it's been folks like you who have propelled this movement and kept
us fixed on what was at stake in this fight. And rarely has a day gone by that I haven't heard
from somebody personally—whether in a letter, or an e-mail, or at a town hall—who's
reminded me of why it was so important that we not give up, who reminded me why we could