Just before noon on Tuesday, March 23, 2010, President Obama signed the House health-care bill into law before an audience of about 300 at the East Room of the White House. He used a collection of 20 pens to sign the epic bill. "This is going to take a really long time," he kidded. "I didn't practice."
The signing came after a dramatic Sunday-night House vote and remarks by Vice President Biden and Obama.
“Mr. President, I think we’ve got a happy moment here,” Biden said. “It seems ridiculous to say thank you for being here.” However, he added, “To state the obvious, this is a historic day.”
An apt capsule of the road to health care reform came during the president's speech when he praised "the men and women of the US Congress who have taken their lumps during a difficult debate."
The response from people in the audience? "Yes we did." "We're still standing."