Democrats Pass Trillion-Dollar Healthcare Bill on 219-212 Vote

March 22, 2010 03:59

After hours of contentious, often angry debate, House Democrats passed their trillion-dollar, tax-heavy healthcare bill late Sunday night on a 219-212 vote. The vote came after President Barack Obama and Democratic House leaders resolved a long-standing dispute over abortion.

Summoned to success by President Barack Obama, the Democratic-controlled Congress approved historic legislation Sunday night extending health care to tens of millions of uninsured Americans and cracking down on insurance company abuses, a climactic chapter in the century-long quest for near universal coverage.

“This is what change looks like,” Obama said a few moments later in televised remarks that stirred memories of his 2008 campaign promise of “change we can believe in.”

Widely viewed as dead two months ago, the Senate-passed bill cleared the House on a 219-212 vote. Republicans were unanimous in opposition, joined by 34 dissident Democrats.

A second, smaller measure — making changes in the first — cleared the House shortly before midnight and was sent to the Senate, where Democratic leaders said they had the votes necessary to pass it quickly. The vote was 220-211.


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