US House passes landmark health care bill

US House passes landmark health care bill

US House passes landmark health care bill

The historic vote was passed by 219 to 210 votes. This gave the much needed political victory to US President Barack Obama who had staked his presidency on the passage of this historic health care bill. Obama had even cancelled his foreign travel to Australia and Indonesia for this bill.

However, Obama despite his year long effort could not get support from the opposition as the entire Republican parties lawmakers voted against the Health Care Bill.

The Democrats needed 216 votes for the passage of the bill. As many as 34 Democrats also voted against it. This version of the bill was earlier passed by the US Senate on Christmas eve. The bill now goes to the White House for the US President, Barack Obama, to sign it into law.

Obama is scheduled to make a statement on the passage of the bill from the White House very soon. Following the House votes, Obama planned to launch a campaign aimed at countering conservatives' criticisms of the health-care bill, his aides said.

Earlier, Obama garnered more support for the bill after he announced that he would issue an executive order after passage, attesting that the bill is consistent with longstanding restrictions on the use of federal funds for abortions. Soon thereafter, the Democrats claimed that they had the majority to get the bill passed.

This was indicated later on as the House approved by a vote of 224 to 206, a procedural measure clearing the way for final votes. The Democratic lawmakers said that in expanding access to health coverage for uninsured Americans, they were creating a new program every bit as important as Social Security and Medicare, also putting downward pressure on rising health care costs and reining in federal budget deficits.

Republicans said the plan would saddle the nation with unaffordable levels of debt, leave states with expensive new obligations, weaken Medicare and give the government a huge new role in the health care system.