Sebelius ties healthcare law to civil rights anniversary


Sebelius invoked Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s remarks about "the fierce urgency of now" — also a favorite line of Obama's — to make the case for the Affordable Care Act.

"For every one of our neighbors who lives day-after-day in fear because they do not have insurance, there is an urgency of now," Sebelius wrote.

This past weekend marked the 50th anniversary of the historic March on Washington and King's famous "I have a dream" speech.

Sebelius tied the creation of Medicare and Medicaid to the passage of the Voting Rights Act, all of which happened in 1965, and cast the Affordable Care Act as another step toward equal opportunity.

"Because of the Affordable Care Act, we are one step closer to fulfilling the promise, freedom, and opportunity for millions of Americans to live a healthy, secure life," she wrote. "Millions of Americans — our families and neighbors — can’t afford for us to turn back. They are counting on us to march ahead. And we will."

Sebelius also criticized the ongoing efforts to derail the healthcare law.

"The time for division and debate has passed. Now is the time to march forward," she said.