House passes health care reform bill

From NBC12 News

WASHINGTON, D.C. (NBC12) - In Washington this evening, a historic vote on health care reform.

Democratic leaders, and President Obama, spent hours lining up the votes needed to pass a plan designed to cover all Americans.

Republicans put up a tough fight but the bill came down to Democratic votes - which weren't necessarily guaranteed.

Passage of the sweeping, trillion-dollar House health care reform bill came down to a couple of hours of debate and a handful of votes - none of them Republican.

The day began with President Obama traveling to Capitol Hill to make sure his party had the votes.

Late in the evening the health care bill passed a key hurdle: an amendment banning government-funded abortions; it was demanded by moderate Democrats.

Republicans condemned the health care reform plan as a Washington power grab.

"It's a 2,000 page road map to a government takeover of health care," said (D) Rep. Roy Blunt.

"How bad does it have to get before we stop the spending?" asked (R) Rep. Jim Jordan.

Republicans presented a counter-offer they said was cheaper and doesn't force people to get insurance coverage or face penalties.

"The health care plan in America needs reform but Pelosi plan isn't it," said (R) Rep. Lynn Jenkins.

Democrats say their bill covers more than 36 million who can't get or afford insurance now.

"This isn't the Pelosi plan," said (D) Rep. Charlie Rangel. "This is the plan for all of America."

In Washington, a showdown on landmark legislation but not the end of the fight.

The Senate will take up its own version, and the President is hoping to have a bill to sign by year's end.

(c) 2009 WWBT, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.