Handing President Obama a hard-fought victory, the House narrowly approved a sweeping overhaul of the nation’s health care system on Saturday, advancing legislation that the Democrats said could be their defining social policy achievement.
After a daylong clash with Republicans over what has been a Democratic goal for decades, lawmakers voted 220 to 215 to approve a plan that would cost $1.1 trillion over 10 years and that Democrats said would provide relief to Americans struggling to buy or hold on to health insurance.
"This is our moment," President Obama told the Democratic caucus in a closed-door meeting today. Damn right! After a week of nay-sayers lying about the consequences of Tuesday's election results, I want to see what they have to say now. The President used his powers of persuasion to shore up his fellow Democrats, with the results that only 39 Blue Dogs voted against the bill.
This is history, folks; this is the closest we've ever gotten to achieving this goal. President Clinton never got this close, and no one before him ever got closer. Expect the Rethugs to pull out all the stops in the Senate: in the House, they've already tried shouting down Democratic congresswomen, rallying insane teabaggers to storm the Capitol, attempts to stall the vote, and outright lying about health care reform. It ain't over yet, but this is damn good progress. Congrats to Speaker Pelosi and President Obama!