The House of Representatives voted 220 to 215 to pass health care reform. And the vote was bipartisan–one Republican, Joseph Cao of Louisiana, joined the Democrats in supporting the bill.
Congress erupted in cheers and applause as soon as the 218th ‘yea’ vote was cast.
This vote is the result of months of effort, representing innumerable hours of work. It’s a tremendous accomplishment, even with the reprehensible Stupak amendment attached, and Congressional Democrats should be proud of their victory tonight.
I might also add that this vote represents the utter and complete failure of the Republicans, teabaggers and the conservative movement who, despite all the sound and the fury they spent months whipping up, couldn’t succeed in derailing this bill.
UPDATE: Joan McCarter notes that this is the first time a chamber of Congress has passed health care reform since Medicare was enacted in 1965.
UPDATE II: Two days ago, at the teabaggers’ anti-health care reform rally, Republican Whip Eric Cantor pledged:
“Be assured not one Republican will vote for this bill,” Cantor said, to big cheers and shouts of “Kill the bill.”
In the end, exactly one Republican voted for the bill, forcing Cantor to eat his words.
UPDATE III: Not long after Cao’s unexpected victory in 2008, Minority Leader Boehner held him up as an example to other Republicans, proclaiming ‘the future is Cao.’
I imagine Boehner regrets those words tonight. In reality, though, the GOP would have a shot at the majority with a few more folks like Cao around. The GOP wishes their future was Cao…
UPDATE IV: Read President Obama’s statement on this historic vote below the fold…
Tonight, in an historic vote, the House of Representatives passed a bill that would finally make real the promise of quality, affordable health care for the American people.
The Affordable Health Care for America Act is a piece of legislation that will provide stability and security for Americans who have insurance; quality affordable options for those who don’t; and bring down the cost of health care for families, businesses, and the government while strengthening the financial health of Medicare. And it is legislation that is fully paid for and will reduce our long-term federal deficit.
Thanks to the hard work of the House, we are just two steps away from achieving health insurance reform in America. Now the United States Senate must follow suit and pass its version of the legislation. I am absolutely confident it will, and I look forward to signing comprehensive health insurance reform into law by the end of the year.