Health Care Clears Final Hurdle: House Passes Reconciliation Bill

The House passes the health care reconciliation bill with a 220-207 vote.

ByABC News
March 25, 2010, 8:28 AM

March 25, 2010— -- The House of Representatives cleared the final hurdle in Congress' overhaul of the nation's health care system, passing a health care reconciliation bill by a 220-207 vote.

The amendment bill, which included the fixes made to the Senate version of the health care bill, will now go to President Obama for his signature.

The Senate passed the legislation this afternoon by a 56-43 margin after defeating 41 amendments offered by Republicans.

Three Democrats, including Sens. Blanche Lincoln and Mark Pryor of Arkansas and Sen. Ben Nelson of Nebraska -- all of whom voted for the original Senate health care legislation -- voted against the reconciliation bill.

Members of the House had to vote again on the health care reconciliation bill because Senate Parliamentarian Alan Frumin ruled late Wednesday against some parts of the reconciliation bill dealing with Federal Pell Grants for low-income students.

Speaking at University of Iowa today, President Obama took several swipes at Republican critics of the health care law.

The president addressed those Republicans who have said they will run on repealing the health care law in the mid-term elections. "My attitude is: Go for it," Obama said.

"Leaders of the Republican Party," Obama said, "they called the passage of this bill 'Armageddon.' Armageddon. 'End of freedom as we know it.' So after I signed the bill, I looked around to see if there were any asteroids falling or some cracks opening up in the earth. It turned out it was a nice day."

Obama spoke about how the changes in the health system will impact insurance companies.

"They've got to start playing by a new set of rules that treats everybody honestly and treats everybody fairly," he said. "The days of the insurance industry running roughshod over the American people are over."

It was Iowa City where in 2007 then-Sen. Obama first spoke about his vision for health care overhaul.

"Three years ago, we made a promise. That promise has been kept," the president told the crowd, filled with students.