The House Thursday night passed the final reconciliation bill overhauling the nation’s health care system. The 220-to-207 vote was the final hurdle in a long contentious battle over the measure that will define the Obama presidency. It will now go to the president for his signature.
The reconciliation merged the House and Senate version of the health care bill, after changes were made including the defeat of 41 amendments offered by Republicans.
Sen. Republicans passed their reconciliation bill earlier Thursday on a 56-to-43 margin during nine hours of uninterrupted voting, with three Democratic Senators, Lincoln (Ark.), Pryor (Ark.) and Nelson (Neb.) voting against the reconciliation bill.
The Congressional Budget Office estimates the changes will cost $938 billion over ten years and extend health insurance to an addition 32 million Americans.
"The American people have waited for this moment for a century," Senate Majority Harry Reid said after the vote.
Sen. Max Baucus, D-Mont., called the moment a "tectonic plate shift" for the nation, reports CBS.
A CBS Poll Wednesday found that nearly two out of three Americans stated they want Republicans to continue their challenge of the health care bill.
Angry reaction to health care reform has turned criticism into physical threats against lawmakers. Democratic Rep. Carnahan of Missouri found a coffin on his lawn this week, according to Politico, courtesy of the St. Louis Tea Party.
Lawmakers are now on spring recess. #