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US-POLITICS-HEALTHCARE.JPGFriends and foes of the federal health care overhaul are marking today's one-year anniversary of President Barack Obama signing the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act into law.

Supporters of the federal health care law have planned events across the state to celebrate the law's first birthday. Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom will be in Los Angeles this afternoon to tout the positive impacts that supporters say the changes are having on Californians, while Democratic Rep. Doris Matsui, Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones and Democratic Assemblyman Richard Pan, a pediatrician, are all scheduled to attend events in the Sacramento region.

"In just one year, hundreds of thousands of Californians have directly benefited from the passage of the Affordable Care Act," Anthony Wright, executive director of Health Access California said in a statement. "The law is making a difference, from the tens of thousands of young adults and those with pre-existing conditions taking advantage of new options for coverage, to the hundreds of thousands of seniors and small businesses getting direct help to afford coverage."

Meanwhile, opponents of the plan are marking the anniversary by pointing out shortcomings and renewing pledges to fight the law.

GOP Rep. Jeff Denham of Atwater issued a statement vowing to "continue to dismantle ObamaCare through more votes and hearings in the House in order to replace it with affordable solutions and common-sense reforms that protect jobs."

"The health care law forced through Congress by the Democrats and the President one year ago has completely failed to live up to the promises it made to the American people," Denham said in a statement blasting the law for increasing costs.

California Republican Party Chairman Tom Del Beccaro pointed to polls showing opposition to the law and cases in which federal judges deemed at least part of the plan unconstitutional.

"The 63 Democrats who lost their seats in November are the people who should be organizing a wake," Del Beccaro said in a statement. "Polls are now showing that most Americans want Obamacare repealed, 28 states are challenging the law in court, two federal courts have said it's unconstitutional, and the 1000+ waivers prove that this law has not achieved what it set out to do and is in fact a job-killer. If this keeps up, Obamacare's first anniversary might just be its last."

PHOTO CREDIT: President Barack Obama, surrounded by lawmakers and guests, signs the health care insurance reform legislation during a ceremony in the East Room of the White House in Washington on March 23, 2010. Saul Loeb/ AFP.


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