The U.S. House of Representatives has passed a sweeping health care reform bill by a narrow 219-212 majority. This version of the bill was passed by the U.S. Senate in December, and will now proceed to the President’s desk for signature or veto. President Barack Obama (D) is expected to sign the bill.
The House has also passed a reconciliation bill to make changes to the Senate reform plan by a similar 220-211 margin. The reconciliation bill will still need to be considered and approved by the Senate before going to the president for signature or veto.
The health care reform bill is considered to be the largest social program passed by the United States Congress in over forty years, and has been widely criticized by the Republican minority and the general public. Most recent polls indicate that solid majorities of the American public support health care reform, but oppose the specific bills passed by the House tonight.