Health Care Reform Passed

219-212, a seven vote margin. That's two votes more than last year's 220-215.

30 million insured, the deficit lowered by billions, the most historic bill since the Civil Rights movement, and the apex of a hundred-year slog started by Theodore Roosvelt.

Passed. To the President. Law. Two more votes.

Update: Reconciliation passes, 220-211. I wonder who it picked up - what Blue Dog would vote for the more liberal reconciliation but not the main bill? Over to you, Harry Reid, for passage next week. What a night.

The House is now adjourned.

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It is a great day... although I vowed no victory lap until the whole package is signed, sealed and delivered.  And say whatever you will about the missteps and the messaging and all that stuff, at the end of the day Barack Obama and Nancy Pelosi got this thing to a point that so many others have failed to reach, and I give them all the credit.

I just watched the Republicans try to sink the bill with a poison pill motion that would have written the President's executive order on the Hyde Amendment into the bill - which would have killed the legislation because the language wouldn't have been acceptable for reconciliation in the Senate.  For those who missed it live, the much-maligned Bart Stupak got up and delivered an absolute stemwinder in favor of the bill and against the Republican motion, declaring the Democrats are the ones protecting life and that this bill will ensure pregnant mothers can get pre-natal care and so on.  It kind of drives home the importance of this final deal that was cut.

The vote on the motion is still open, but it has already been voted down.  Next up, the House votes to accept the Senate reconciliation fix, and then their job is done.

by Steve M 2010-03-21 11:14PM | 3 recs
RE: Hooray!

Republican motion failed 232-199.

by Steve M 2010-03-21 11:19PM | 0 recs
RE: Hooray!

I still don't like Stupak, but he's showed remarkable skill as a legislator.

Congrats Pelosi... this wouldn't have been possible without you...

by vecky 2010-03-21 11:42PM | 2 recs
RE: Hooray!

Me neither, but I figure the moment of a great victory is not the moment to start working on the enemies lists.

I hope I live long enough to see the day the Republicans portray themselves as the brave defenders of this legislation, the way they do with Social Security, Medicare and civil rights.

by Steve M 2010-03-21 11:49PM | 0 recs
RE: Hooray!

No don't get me wrong. I don't quite consider him an enemy. HCR was very much a team-effort and Stupak showed himself to be a part of the team. I do continue to disagree with him on certain issues, but I don't consider him "no better than a repub" or GOP-lite like many Blue-Dogs.

I'll also note the GOP deserves a hon. mention as a part of the team. Their firm commitment to scuttle the recon bill over any "non-Byrd rule" items effectively killed Stupak-Pitts. Stupaks vote against their amendment shows he recognized that. So thanks to the GOP for killing Stupak-Pitts! In this one case their obstinate obstruction resulted in a slightly better bill. Thanks GOP!

by vecky 2010-03-22 01:26AM | 0 recs
Yes We Did!

A huge victory for America, Democrats, Speaker Pelosi, and Obama.

Healthcare Reform is now the law of the land.

by NoFortunateSon 2010-03-21 11:20PM | 0 recs

Things looked very bleak for HCR not so long ago.  May not go far enough for some, but this is a monumental day any way you look at it.  Very proud to be a Democrat right now.

by thatrangeofshadesbetweenredandbluestuff 2010-03-21 11:21PM | 0 recs

Happy for the Dems, glad to have this done and even more glad to see the President succeeding and the Tea Party approach of the GOP failing.

Frum did a great piece on what this should mean to the GOP:

Good to see you and best to all the DDenizens!

by chrisblask 2010-03-21 11:30PM | 0 recs
RE: Purple!

Hey Chris!

I read that piece earlier today... very interesting that he makes some of the very same arguments that Obama made when he visited with House Republicans.  They paint him as the Socialist-Communist-Fascist-Manchurian-Candidate-Puppy-Eating-Boogeyman and therefore someone who they cannot negotiate with, even though they would arguably have been able to pull this reform a LOT further to the right if they had taken part in the process instead of "KILL. THE. BILL.'ing" until their faces turned blue.

by thatrangeofshadesbetweenredandbluestuff 2010-03-22 12:00AM | 0 recs
My hopeless optimism (do those cancel out?)

is reinvigorated again.

The serious spanking can be a wonderful thing.  Over the past year I've had a lot of conversations with a lot of very dear friends - who range from slightly conservative to extremely conservative - and I think Frum is exactly right.  There just aren't a lot of people who actually agree with Beck and the n/f-word shouting/spitting/gun-sign-carrying idiots who have come to represent the GOP since 2008.  That doesn't make these folks Democrats (less-so than it makes me one), but they aren't idiots and they aren't insincere.  They can be spoken to and respected, because they are respectful themselves.

Centrists like me may want the Tea Party GOP to burn even more than Democrats do.  It's painful to watch and it limits our own choices.

by chrisblask 2010-03-22 12:07AM | 1 recs
RE: My hopeless optimism (do those cancel out?)

The Kaiser Foundation released a paper a few weeks ago in which they compared the current bill to the Republican alternative that was introduced in 1993 as an alternative to Hillarycare.  The Republican bill was written by John Chafee, a liberal Republican, but it was co-sponsored by 20 other Republicans, including Bob Dole.  5 of the Republicans who co-sponsored that legislation are still in the Senate.

The Kaiser Foundation found that the two bills were substantially similar.  The major components of the current bill were all in the Republican bill from 1993.  Yet somehow, this bill is supposedly a socialistic, communistic government takeover of healthcare, blah blah blah.

This is why Frum is speaking an inconvenient truth when he says this bill was not very far removed from Republican principles, or the things that are supposed to be Republican principles at any rate.  It's fun to engage in consequence free-demagoguery when you're in the opposition, but a lot of these folks seem to have bought into their own propaganda.

The President does not lie when he says there are a lot of Republican ideas and a lot of Republican amendments in this bill.  The question of whether there is any kind of political reward for passing a bill that is bipartisan in substance, but lacks the actual bipartisan support necessary for political cover, remains to be answered.

by Steve M 2010-03-22 01:30AM | 1 recs

Reconciliation part will pass shortly. It will be interesting to watch the Republican's political calculations change after this. I'm not convinced they can hang together on the next set of Obama priorities after losing health care. The Democrats are bound to get a bounce for getting something this huge done, and Republicans in close districts will start looking for ways to keep their seats.

by tib 2010-03-21 11:29PM | 0 recs
RE: Fantastic

I predict when the Public Option comes to a vote - if in 6 months or 1 year or 3 years - a few Republicans will vote for it.

This has been a Waterloo indeed.

by vecky 2010-03-21 11:44PM | 0 recs
And Sen. Jim Demint, I dedicate ABBA's Waterloo to you

If I could embed a video, here, I would.

ABBA's Waterloo

by NoFortunateSon 2010-03-22 12:10AM | 0 recs
RE: Fantastic

Not yet. Republicans are nothing if not persistent. The only way they'll change their tune is if they get wiped out in November, and maybe even in 2012, as well. Only then will they realize that doing their damndest to wreck the country might not be the best political strategy.

by EvilAsh 2010-03-22 12:16AM | 0 recs
Thank you Democrats!

Thank you, President Obama, Speaker Pelosi, and the House and Senate Democratic leadership for taking an historic first step toward fixing our broken health care system. As the spouse of a young adult cancer patient, I am especially grateful that my family, and millions of other Americans, will not have to worry about being denied coverage due to a pre-existing health condition.

And, thank you Senator Ted Kennedy for passionately fighting for health care reform over your entire career. This victory could not have been achieved without your decades of tireless advocacy.

by Winning Progressive 2010-03-22 12:03AM | 1 recs
Wasn't a Blue Dog

wonder who it picked up - what Blue Dog would vote for the more liberal reconciliation but not the main bill?

Two Democrats voted against the bill and for reconciliation; Stephen Lynch (Massachusetts) and Dan Lipinski (Illinois), neither are Blue Dogs and each had a problem with the Senate bill. (Lynch didn't like the excise tax, Lipinski wanted stronger abortion regulations).

One Democrats voted for the bill and against reconciliation; Jim Cooper (Tennessee)

Coincidently, Lipinski was the last Democratic vote decided, which seems to me to hint that he was willing to vote yes if he was needed, but didn't really want to because of abortion, so Pelosi let him go and vote his (wrongheaded) conscious.


by ND22 2010-03-22 12:46PM | 1 recs


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