I meant to post this yesterday but it slipped through the cracks of what was another manic Monday.
The House of Representatives passed Nancy Pelosi’s 1,990 page health care reform bill by a vote of 220 to 215 on Saturday night.
The House of Representatives late Saturday night approved a historic bill to remake the U.S. health-care system, delivering President Barack Obama a key procedural victory on his top domestic priority after a lengthy and sometimes emotional day of debate on the nearly 2,000-page measure.
By a vote of 220-215, lawmakers approved a 10-year, $1.055 trillion bill that aims to put in place near-universal health-care coverage in the United States, would require individuals to buy and most businesses to offer coverage, and expand Medicaid. Poorer Americans would get subsidies to buy insurance under the bill, and insurers would be barred from denying coverage to people with pre-existing conditions.
The bill would also establish a government-run health-insurance plan option to compete with private insurers — the controversial “public option” strongly backed by Obama but sharply opposed by Republicans.
Just one Republican, Rep. Joseph Cao of Louisiana, voted for the White House-backed bill. A substitute bill offered by the GOP failed on a vote of 176-258. The House Democrats’ bill will now need to be melded with a bill awaiting action in the Senate.
Obama said after the vote that the bill “will provide stability and security for Americans who have insurance; quality affordable options for those who don’t; and bring down the cost of health care for families, businesses, and the government while strengthening the financial health of Medicare. And it is legislation that is fully paid for and will reduce our long-term federal deficit.”
The president added that he is “absolutely confident” that the Senate will pass its version of the law, “and I look forward to signing comprehensive health insurance reform into law by the end of the year.”
Before the vote, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., said it was “an historic moment for our nation and for America’s families.”
House lawmakers began debating late Saturday morning and were immediately caught up in partisan fighting. But House Democratic leaders were upbeat about the bill’s prospects after an early afternoon meeting with Obama, who made a rare Saturday trip to Capitol Hill to press members to pass the measure.
That the bill passed is no surprise, that Republicans helped it pass is… The sad reality here is that if the Republican’s had shown a little political courage and voted present on the Stupak Amendment there’s a good chance the Democrats wouldn’t have been able to find enough votes in their own caucus to pass H.R. 3962, the Health Care Reform bill.
I understand why Republicans essentially had to vote for the Stupak Amendment… Abortion is an important issue to great many voters and if Republicans had voted against the Stupak Amendment they more than likely would have faced a backlash from pro-life voters. Unfortunately, is was a wasted vote, Henry Waxmen and other have pointedly said there’s “no guarantee” the Stupak Amendment will be retained in the final version of the bill.
House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-OH) even said during the floor debate on the bill Saturday that he doubts the amendment will survive the conference committee.
Regardless the fight now heads to the Senate where the conventional wisdom says it will be a much tougher fight… Don’t believe it, I fully expect the Senate to pass a Health Care reform bill this year, probably without a so called Public Option, but they will pass a bill. A bill that will put us one step closer to the Democrats goal of a socialized single payer system… A system that does things like this.
- ObamaCare legislation in trouble – New York Post
- Health reformers prepare for Senate hurdle – Financial Times
- Government-Run ‘Public Option’ in Pelosi Health Bill Threatens to Kill Hospitals, Says Democrat Who Voted Against the Bill – CNSNews.com
- PelosiCare could be bad news for the dollar – James Pethokoukis, Reuters