The bill passed in a 219-212 vote after more than a year of bitter partisan debate. All 178 Republicans opposed it, along with 34 Democrats.I was checking up on the news all day waiting for the vote. When I finally turned off my computer and turned on the news, I witnessed the final vote needed. It was indeed a momentous occaision, and I while the bill is not perfect, I believe it is a start, and I especially feel satisfied that the obstructionist Republicans were not victorious.
The measure, which cleared the Senate in December, constitutes the biggest expansion of federal health care guarantees since Medicare and Medicaid were enacted more than four decades ago.
A separate compromise package of changes expanding the reach of the measure also passed the House over unanimous GOP opposition, and is now set to be taken up by the Senate.
The overall $940 billion plan is projected to extend insurance coverage to roughly 32 million additional Americans. It represents a significant step toward the goal of universal coverage sought by every Democratic president since Harry Truman.
Most Americans will now be required to have health insurance or pay a fine. Larger employers will be required to provide coverage or risk financial penalties. Total individual out-of-pocket expenses will be capped and insurers will be barred from denying coverage based on gender or pre-existing conditions.
The compromise package would add to the bill's total cost partly by expanding insurance subsidies for middle- and lower-income families. The measure would scale back the bill's taxes on expensive insurance plans.
Numerous House members insisted they would not vote for the Senate bill without a clear promise that senators would approve the changes.
"This is what change looks like," Obama said shortly after the votes. The passage of health care reform is "not a victory for any one party. ... It's a victory for the American people and it's a victory for common sense."
The president said successful reform proves Americans "are still a people capable of doing big things."
Monday, March 22, 2010
Health Care Bill Passes House 219-212
From an article by Alan Silverlieb at CNN: