How the Affordable Care Act came to be

In March 2010 President Barack Obama signed the Affordable Care Act into law. Health care reform was propelled by Obama’s election and his address in February 2009 to a joint session of Congress.

“So let there be no doubt: Health care reform cannot wait, it must not wait, and it will not wait another year,” CNN reports Obama said in that speech.

It was a long and grueling process and opponents of the bill used town halls to drum up anger about the measure. Still, in the end, the measure was approved.

Here’s a photo timeline of the Affordable Care Act:

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President Barack Obama is inaugurated on Jan. 20, 2009. Photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Chad J. McNeeley/US Navy via Wikimedia Commons
POTUS in East Room speaking at 2nd session Health Summit
President Obama hosted a health care summit on March 5, 2009. Pete Souza/White House via Wikimedia Commons
POTUS in East Room speaking at 2nd session Health Summit
Senator Ted Kennedy speaks during the health care summit as the president listens. Kennedy was, CNN reports, a leading proponent of health care reform. His August 2009 passing was seen as a threat to the bill. Pete Souza/White House via Wikimedia Commons
Rally_before_health_care_reform_town_hall_meeting_in_West_Hartford,_Connecticut_3,_2009-09-02
Town halls and rallies are held throughout the country. In this photo, people gather in West Hartford, Connecticut before a town hall with U.S. Representative John B. Larson in September 2009. Sage Ross photo via Wikimedia Commons
Yelling_protester_at_health_care_reform_town_hall_meeting_in_West_Hartford,_Connecticut,_2009-09-02
Protesters yell before Representative Larson’s September 2009 town hall. Sage Ross photo via Wikimedia Commons
West_Hartford,_Connecticut_health_care_reform_town_hall_meeting,_2009-09-02
Representative Larson hosted this town hall. Sage Ross photo via Wikimedia Commons
Obama_greets_Harkin_the_day_after_healthcare_bill_passed
President Obama talks with Sen. Tom Harkin in March 2010 after the Senate passed the health care bill. Pete Souza/White House photo via Wikimedia Commons
Obama_signs_health_care-20100323
President Obama signs the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act into law on March 23, 2010. Pete Souza/White House via Wikimedia Commons
Flickr_-_USCapitol_-_Supreme_Court_Building
On June 28, 2012 the Supreme Court declared the health care law’s individual mandate constitutional. US government photo via Wikimedia Commons
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