*Summoned to success by President Barack Obama, the Democratic-controlled Congress approved historic legislation Sunday night extending health care to tens of millions of uninsured Americans and cracking down on insurance company abuses, a climactic chapter in the century-long quest for near universal coverage.
“This is what change looks like,” Obama said a few moments later in televised remarks that stirred memories of his 2008 campaign promise of “change we can believe in.”
Widely viewed as dead two months ago, the Senate-passed bill cleared the House on a 219-212 vote. Republicans were unanimous in opposition, joined by 34 dissident Democrats.
A second, smaller measure – making changes in the first – cleared the House shortly before midnight and was sent to the Senate, where Democratic leaders said they had the votes necessary to pass it quickly. The vote was 220-211.
Obama’s young presidency received a badly needed boost as a deeply divided Congress passed legislation touching the lives of nearly every American. The battle for the future of the health insurance system – affecting one-sixth of the economy – galvanized Republicans and conservative activists looking ahead to November’s midterm elections.
Read MORE of this AP report HERE.
Watch President Obama’s response to passage of health care bill: