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Senate passes health care bill!

cspan senate vote tally

This morning, in its first session on Christmas Eve since 1963, the Senate passed it’s health care reform bill.  The process wasn’t pretty, and the bill isn’t perfect, but it’s a start.  Congratulations to the Senate for getting it through.

We’ll talk more on this after the holiday, but for now here’s what John Podesta, President of the Center for American Progress and Chair of the Obama-Biden transition team had to say:

“I congratulate Majority Leader Reid and the members of the United States Senate for taking a historic step forward toward reforming our nation’s health care system.

“If enacted, health care reform would substantially improve the lives of millions of Americans currently struggling with our broken health care system. It would extend health care coverage to a record 31 million Americans who are currently uninsured, bringing the total insured population to 94 percent. It would lower premium costs and cap health care spending for millions of families that are struggling today, and begin to rein in the spiraling costs that are creating a fiscal nightmare for the U.S. economy overall. And it would deliver much-needed oversight to the insurance industry, guaranteeing that no American will ever again be denied coverage because of a pre-existing condition or see their coverage canceled when they get sick, and that women will no longer be charged 48 percent more for the same coverage as men.

“It is critical that a final bill ensures that the subsidies provided are sufficient to make insurance truly affordable for working families. But if enacted, health reform along the lines of what the House and Senate have passed will represent the most historic reform of our health care system in the more than 40 years that I have been in politics. We still have a way to go, but today’s passage represents a major step forward.”

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