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Healthcare Reform Finally Passes

(Image: RLHyde under CC 3.0)

It was down to the wire, but the Obama administration managed to do it: last night, the House of Representatives passed comprehensive healthcare reform. The legislation was victorious of 219 to 212, three votes over the needed threshold of 216. As expected, it did not receive a single Republican vote.

The bill will give a makeover to America’s health insurance system. It will be easier for people with pre-existing conditions to buy health insurance plans, and provide subsidies to the uninsured. In Obama’s words, “this is what change looks like,” for better or worse. Somewhat ironically, he called it an example of government for and by the people, when a slight majority of those polled are against the bill (although they are in favor of certain individual elements).

Now, the ball is in the Senate’s court. They must pass an agreed-upon package of budget-related modifications through the reconciliation process. With 59 members of the Democratic caucus, it will probably succeed.

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