Posted on 22 Mar 2010
The biggest transformation of the U.S. health system in decades won approval on Capitol Hill late Sunday, the culmination of efforts by generations of Democrats to achieve near-universal health coverage.
Facing voters' judgment in the fall, Democrats bet they could overcome public misgivings on a bill that reshapes one-sixth of the U.S. economy. The final battle on the House floor exposed again the divisions that have riven Congress and the nation over the past year.
The House gave final passage to the Senate's health legislation on a climactic 219-to-212 vote, as Democrats muscled the measure through on the strength of the party's big majority. In the final roll call, no House Republicans voted for the bill, and 34 Democrats voted no, many of them representing Republican-leaning districts.
The House also has passed the package of fixes meant to reconcile differences between the bill the House passed last year and the Senate bill it passed earlier Sunday night.