Speaker Nancy Pelosi released the following statement this afternoon after President Barack Obama signed the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act into law.
"Health insurance reform represents remarkable progress for the American people. Today, with President Obama's signature, health care becomes more affordable for the middle class, we begin closing the prescription drug donut hole, and we demand accountability from the insurance industry.
"Health insurance reform is fiscally responsible for the budgets of America's families and the federal budget. It strengthens Medicare and improves benefits for our seniors. It will create millions of jobs and strengthen our economic security by keeping America competitive and igniting innovation and entrepreneurship.
"This legislation is about expanding opportunity for millions of Americans, and essential to opportunity is higher education. This legislation contains the largest investment in college aid in our nation's history by lowering the cost of student loans, expanding Pell Grants, and investing in community colleges and the institutions that traditionally have served minorities. It is fiscally responsible, ending years of government subsidies to banks, making available $68 billion for college loans and deficit reduction.
"I salute the efforts of the Members of Congress, particularly Chairman George Miller and many of our newer Members, who led the charge for reform, and President Obama, whose visionary leadership made this progress possible."