The Affordable Health Care for America Act, referred to by some as "Obamacare" and passed in November 2009 after much debate, is intended to regulate the insurance industry to control costs and make health care more accessible. It's now being challenged, and the Supreme Court will hear oral arguments next week on the bill's constitutionality, specifically the individual mandate.
Here's a roundup of pertinent quotes about the bill:
"So Americans buying comparable coverage to what they have today -- I already said this -- would see premiums fall by 14 to 20 percent -- that's not my numbers, that's what the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office says -- for Americans who get their insurance through the workplace."
-- President Barack Obama, speaking to a crowd in Strongsville, Ohio, about health care reform, March 15, 2010.
"This bill represents a giveaway to the insurance industry...$70 billion dollars a year, and no guarantees of any control over premiums, forcing people to buy private insurance, five consecutive years of double-digit premium increases."
-- Rep. Dennis Kucinich, D-Ohio, in an interview on MSNBC, March 8, 2010.
"Bipartisanship is a two-way street. A bill can be bipartisan without bipartisan votes. Republicans have left their imprint."
-- Former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., on CNN, February 28, 2010.
"Anyone who would stand before you and say 'well, if you pass health care reform next year's health care premiums are going down,' I don't think is telling the truth. I think it is likely they would go up."
-- Sen. Majority Whip Dick Durbin, D-Ill., on Senate Hearing, March 10, 2010.
"In sum, the individual mandate is breathtaking in its expansive scope. It regulates those who have not entered the health care market at all. It regulates those who have entered the health care market, but have not entered the insurance market (and have no intention of doing so). It is over inclusive in when it regulates; it conflates those who presently consume health care with those who will not consume health care for many years into the future. The government's position amounts to an argument that the mere fact of an individual's existence substantially affects interstate commerce, and therefore Congress may regulate them at every point of their life."
-- Judges Dubina and Hull, United States Court of Appeals Opinion, August 12, 2011.
" You know we're going to control the insurance companies. You know people aren't going to lose their health care with their employer like is being advertised."
-- Vice President Joe Biden, in an interview with ABC News, March 18, 2010.
"Harvard just completed a study that shows 45,000 Americans die every year because they don't have health insurance, almost 1,000 a week in America."
-- Sen. Harry Reid, D-Nev., during opening statements at meeting on health care reform, February 25, 2010.
"An incremental approach is like a swimmer who's 50 feet offshore drowning, and you throw him a 10-foot rope. And you say, 'Well, it didn't reach him, but we'll get it back and we'll throw him a 20-foot rope next time. Then we'll throw him a 30-foot . . . ' By that time, the swimmer has drowned."
-- Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa,, during the summit on health care, February 25, 2010.
"The time has come for universal health care in America, I am absolutely determined that by the end of the first term of the next president, we should have universal health care in this country,"
-- Obama, Families USA Conference, January 25, 2007.
"As I said publicly, I can't vote for a bill that will publicly fund abortion."
-- U.S. Rep. Chris Carney, D-Pa., in an interview with the Scranton Times-Shamrock, March 10, 2010.