WASHINGTON — After more than a year of intense debate, analysis, hearings, more debate, town hall meetings, revisions, more revisions, a bill and a fix-it bill later, the House voted for the final time to approve the final pieces of a landmark health care reform measure.
“This vote represents a triumph for the health and economic stability of America’s families, the security of America’s seniors, and the future of America’s students,” said House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. “The Congress of the United States finished the job of health insurance reform today; in doing so, we made history and progress for the American people.”
Rep. John Kline gave the Republicans’ closing argument on the House floor.
“Mr. Speaker, a flawed bill jammed through a flawed process guarantees the health care debate will go on,” Kline said. “The American people have rejected a government takeover of health care. So let’s reject this latest ‘fix it’ bill.”
Long before he spoke those words, back on Sunday when the House passed the fix for the first time, tonight’s vote tally was assured. Once again, Democrats produced 220 votes to pass their bill (which needed 215 this time). Once again, Minnesota’s delegation split 4-4, with Rep. Collin Peterson joining all three Republicans in voting no.
President Obama plans to sign the bill sometime next week.