In what Democrats are declaring a historic vote, the Senate voted 60-39 in favor of a health care reform bill that will radically change the nation’s $2.5 trillion health care industry. Now with both chambers having passed their respective versions, it will be up to a committee to reconcile the differences in what may be the start of the true battle.
While the Obama administration declared earlier in the year that it would seek a non-partisan solution to the health care problems plaguing the nation, only one Republican, a Louisiana congressman, voted for the health care bills in either chamber. The success or failure of the this bill, assuming it can be reconciled, will likely go a long way in determining the fates of both parties in the upcoming elections in the next few years.
Whether the public option can make it to Obama’s desk remains to be seen, while the House is overwhelmingly in favor of it, it took a lot of compromise to get the 60 votes needed in the Senate to bypass a Republican filibuster. The House approved it’s version in November and how long it will take to reconcile the two versions is anyone’s guess.
Either way passage of the bill appears to be a major defeat for the health insurance industry, which in the last few months began opposing both the House and Senate versions after initially being in favor of reform at the start of the year.
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