Tonight, the House voted 220 to 207 to pass the revised Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act that the Senate passed this afternoon. The reconciliation bill makes key improvements to the Senate health reform bill, which the President signed into law on Tuesday. This final version is identical to the reconciliation bill the House passed Sunday night by a vote of 220 to 211, except for the removal of two small provisions relating to Pell Grants which the Senate parliamentarian ruled violated the Byrd rule. Tonight’s passage sends the bill to the President's desk for his signature.
Rep. Rob Andrews explains we can finally say “every American has affordable access to health insurance”:
Chairman George Miller closed debate on what he described as “the last leg of a long journey”:
Speaker Pelosi gaveled the vote to a close:
Speaker Pelosi’s statement on passage:
Tonight, the House of Representatives voted to strengthen health insurance reform, invest in our nation's students, and secure a better future for all Americans. In passing this bill, we have truly completed what the late Senator Edward Kennedy called 'the great unfinished business of our society.'
With this legislation in place, families will have access to even more affordable care than the reform the President signed this week. Seniors will see the prescription drug 'donut hole' close faster, and they will start paying less for their prescription drugs this year. Taxpayers will not pay for special deals that favor one state over another, and primary care doctors will receive fair pay for providing critical services to low-income Americans.
In securing affordable, quality health care for all, we have also made the largest investment in college aid in our history. This bill makes borrowing more affordable for nearly 8 million students. It increases the size of Pell Grants and strengthens workforce training initiatives at community colleges. We will make key investments in historically black colleges and universities and other minority-serving institutions. Taken together, these measures are the single largest deficit reduction effort in nearly two decades.
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. 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.