The House of Representatives has approved President Barack Obama's top domestic policy initiative, sending a bill overhauling the United State's health insurance system to the President's desk.
The climactic chapter in a century-long quest for near universal coverage concludes with the House's 219-212 approval of a bill to extend coverage to 32 million Americans who lack it, ban insurers from denying coverage on the basis of pre-existing medical conditions and cut deficits by an estimated $138 billion over a decade.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi praised the health care legislation for its ability to "unleash tremendous entrepreneurial power into our economy."
Pelosi said the fact that the bill is on the cusp of passing is due to the leadership of President Obama.
She also cited the legacy of the late Sen. Ted Kennedy, who wrote in a letter to Obama that health care is the "great unfinished business of our society."
"That is -- until today," she said.
Reaction to the passage was swift.
Mia Chambers says "We just evolved as a nation." While Liz Blaine was already working to repeal the legislation, "Take the Pledge to support only candidates who will work to repeal Healthcare http://bit.ly/abrxw4"
The House will vote on the reconciliation package and procedural issues, leaving one more step, a companion package of changes that will still need Senate approval.
After the House's final vote the President will address the nation. You can watch the WhiteHouse.gov feed live right here on BlogHer.
Politics & News Contributing Editor Erin Kotecki Vest
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