House Passes Historic Health Care Overhaul Bill

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President Obama reacted to the House's historic heath care reform overhaul, Sunday, encouraging the Senate to take action in the next step of passing his health care reform plan.

"For years we've been told that this couldn't be done," Obama said in a brief statement from the White House Rose Garden. "But last night the House proved different."

Obama said he was "confident" that the Senate would follow through with the legislation.

Meanwhile, Republican lawmakers reacted, Sunday, to the Democratic-controlled House's narrow passage of the bill.

"The House bill is dead on arrival in the Senate," Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C. "It was a bill written by liberals for liberals."

"We are going to have a complete government takeover of our health care system faster than you can say, `this is making me sick,"' said Rep. Candice Miller, R-Mich.

Sen. Joe Lieberman, an independent from Connecticut, appeared on Fox News Sunday saying he will still fight the bill's passage.

"If the public option plan is in there, as a matter of conscience, I will not allow this bill to come to a final vote because I believe the debt can break America and send us into a recession that's worse than the one we're fighting our way out of today," he said.

House Votes Bill to Passage

Late Saturday night cheers and applause came from the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives as triumphant Democrats were able to steer measure HR 3962 - the nearly $1.1 trillion health care reform bill to passage.

The vote was 220 to 215. 

Taking gavel in hand, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced to the chamber, "The bill is passed."

"It provides coverage for 96 percent of Americans. It offers everyone, regardless of health or income, the peace of mind that comes from knowing they will have access to affordable health care when they need it," said Rep. John Dingell, the 83-year-old Michigan lawmaker who has introduced national health insurance in every Congress since succeeding his father in 1955.

The bill now goes to the Senate for debate.

Pro-life Lawmakers Get "No Funding for Abortion" Language

The health care overhaul moved toward a vote in the House earlier Saturday after pro-life lawmakers won a chance to include language that would clearly state that no funding for abortion and no government subsidies for plans that cover abortion would be allowed.

Democratic leaders were hopeful they could pass the bill, no matter how the abortion issue is decided.

The abortion agreement was reached at midnight Friday after hours of intense negotiations brokered by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif.

CBN News' David Brody is following the health care debate on The Brody File.

Democratic Reps. Bart Stupak of Michigan, Brad Ellsworth of Indiana and other pro-life lawmakers fought for and won an opportunity to put tougher restrictions in the bill during debate.

"We wish to maintain current law, which says no public funding for abortion," Stupak said.

Federal Law Prohibits Use of Federal Funds

Federal law currently prohibits the use of federal funds to pay for abortions except in cases of rape, incest or situations in which the life of the mother is in danger.

Stupak's amendment would deny abortion coverage to anyone who gets federal insurance subsidies or buys a policy from the government.

"The Stupak amendment is expected to garner significant Republican support because it is strictest possible abortion language," a top Republican on the Hill told The Brody File. "The vote on Mr. Stupak's amendment looks like it will be very close, and if it passes then the liberal Democrats will just have to swallow it if they want to pass the overall bill."

Still, Republicans were united in their opposition to the bill, using procedural delays to slow the debate.

"The American people need to understand this is about a government takeover of the whole health care system," said Rep. Paul Broun, R-Ga.

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