"As Ted Kennedy said, across the decades, in the best and the most discouraging hours, health care was the cause of his life. Tonight that cause becomes more than a dream, it becomes America's commitment.
"This landmark moment belongs to President Barack Obama, to Speaker Nancy Pelosi and the courageous members of the House, and to the colleagues he cherished in the Senate. Most of all, it belongs to America -- and it is one of the rare legislative achievements that belongs to the ages.
"When Ted stood with Barack Obama in 2008, he said he had new hope that we would break the old gridlock and guarantee that every American -- north, south, east, west, young, old -- would have decent, quality health care as a fundamental right and not a privilege. And now they do and from now on they will.
"In the last words he wrote, Ted said that if you persevere, stick with it, work at it, you have a real opportunity to achieve something. Sure, there will be storms along the way. And you might not reach your goal right away. But if you do your best and keep a true compass, you'll get there. Ted knew we would get here, and all of us who loved him and shared his hopes for America are deeply grateful.