Washington: Jubilant at the passage of the landmark Health Care bill by the House of Representatives, US President Barack Obama on Sunday said it is a major reform and a victory for the American people.
"Tonight's vote is not a victory for any one party -- it's a victory for them. It's a victory for the American people. And it's a victory for common sense," a beaming Obama said shortly after the historic vote was passed by 219 to 212 votes.
"This isn't radical reform, but it is major reform." Obama, who put his presidency at stake and postponed his foreign trips for the passage of the bill, congratulated the Congress for passing his signature legislative goal, which is sweeping overhaul of the American health insurance system as it will provide coverage for nearly all Americans.
"Tonight when the pundits said it was no longer possible, we rose above the weight of our politics," Obama said in televised remarks from the White House after the legislation was passed by the Congress.
"We proved that we are still a people capable of doing big things. We proved that this government - a government of the people and by the people - still works for the people," he said.
Obama is expected to sign the bill soon, White House officials said.
"Today's vote answers the prayers of every American who has hoped deeply for something to be done about a health care system that works for insurance companies, but not for ordinary people. For most Americans, this debate has never been about abstractions, the fight between right and left, Republican and Democrat -- it's always been about something far more personal," Obama said.
"This isn't radical reform. But it is major reform. This legislation will not fix everything that ails our health care system. But it moves us decisively in the right direction. This is what change looks like," he added.
Obama said that on Tuesday, the Senate will take up revisions to this legislation that the House has embraced, and these are revisions that have strengthened this law and removed provisions that had no place in it.
"Some have predicted another siege of parliamentary manoeuvring in order to delay adoption of these improvements. I hope that's not the case. It's time to bring this debate to a close and begin the hard work of implementing this reform properly on behalf of the American people. This year, and in years to come, we have a solemn responsibility to do it right," he said.
Obama reminded his countrymen that his commitment to the growth of India remains the top most priority.
"The work of promoting private sector job creation goes on. The work of putting American families' dreams back within reach goes on. And we march on, with renewed confidence, energised by this victory on their behalf," he said.
"In the end, what this day represents is another stone firmly laid in the foundation of the American Dream. Tonight, we answered the call of history as so many generations of
Americans have before us. 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," Obama said.
First Published: Tuesday, March 23, 2010, 00:22