This is only the first of the major changes that are achievable and forthcoming.
I am, by the way, a proud Canadian and Canada has had universal medicare for perhaps fifty years now. It is a jewel in the Canadian crown and I congratulate my American brethren on achieving the same universal health care system – or at least a giant step towards it.
(Thanks to Su Richards.)
For the first time in our nation’s history, Congress has passed
comprehensive health care reform. America waited a hundred years and fought
for decades to reach this moment. Tonight, thanks to you, we are finally
Consider the staggering scope of what you have just accomplished:
Because of you, every American will finally be guaranteed high quality,
affordable health care coverage.
Every American will be covered under the toughest patient protections in
history. Arbitrary premium hikes, insurance cancellations, and
discrimination against pre-existing conditions will now be gone forever.
And we’ll finally start reducing the cost of care — creating millions of
jobs, preventing families and businesses from plunging into bankruptcy, and
removing over a trillion dollars of debt from the backs of our children.
But the victory that matters most tonight goes beyond the laws and far past
It is the peace of mind enjoyed by every American, no longer one injury or
illness away from catastrophe.
It is the workers and entrepreneurs who are now freed to pursue their slice
of the American dream without fear of losing coverage or facing a crippling
And it is the immeasurable joy of families in every part of this great
nation, living happier, healthier lives together because they can finally
receive the vital care they need.
This is what change looks like.
My gratitude tonight is profound. I am thankful for those in past
generations whose heroic efforts brought this great goal within reach for
our times. I am thankful for the members of Congress whose months of effort
and brave votes made it possible to take this final step. But most of all, I
am thankful for you.
This day is not the end of this journey. Much hard work remains, and we have
a solemn responsibility to do it right. But we can face that work together
with the confidence of those who have moved mountains.
Our journey began three years ago, driven by a shared belief that
fundamental change is indeed still possible. We have worked hard together
every day since to deliver on that belief.
We have shared moments of tremendous hope, and we’ve faced setbacks and
doubt. We have all been forced to ask if our politics had simply become too
polarized and too short-sighted to meet the pressing challenges of our time.
This struggle became a test of whether the American people could still rally
together when the cause was right — and actually create the change we
Tonight, thanks to your mighty efforts, the answer is indisputable: Yes we
President Barack Obama