House Clears Landmark Health Bill -- Now What?

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WASHINGTON -- President Barack Obama got his top domestic priority passed this weekend after House Democrats narrowly approved major health care legislation in a 220-215 vote.

Supporters say the measure will improve America's medical coverage. However, critics warn it will make health care worse, drive up taxes and spending, and hurt the economy.

Click play for an update with CBN News White House Correspondent David Brody, following John Jessup's report.

Also, get more of Jessup's analysis along with insight from William Saunders, senior vice president of legal affairs for Americans United for Life Action here.

Obama: House Vote a Victory for America

"Tonight's vote is not a victory for any one party," the president declared on Sunday. "It's a victory for them. It's a victory for the American people."

After the president signs the bill into law, the Senate will take up a House bill to fix problems with the original bill.

Meanwhile, Republicans are already plotting how to derail the legislation with procedural objections and a series of amendments.

"The point is we're going to help the American people understand by these amendments what is in the bill and why they are right when they think it's a bad bill," Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, said.

So, what will the bill do in the short term? Within next 90 days to six months the new law would:

  • Start providing rebates for seniors on prescription drugs.
  • Allow people with pre-existing conditions to get coverage through high-risk insurance pools.
  • No longer allow denial of coverage if a person gets sick.
  • No lifetime caps on policies.
  • And children with pre-existing conditions cannot be refused.

'Too Much Money, Too Much Government'

The mandate requiring everyone to be covered would not go into effect until 2014.

But opponents say there's a lot wrong with this bill. Namely that it's too costly and gives the government too much control.

Some businesses have also warned it will be extremely expensive. Caterpillar Vice President Gregory S. Foley said the measure will cost an extra $100 million in the first year alone.

Meanwhile, pro-life supporters feel betrayed by pro-life Democratic lawmakers who caved on their stand against using taxpayer money to pay for abortions.

Rep. Bart Stupak, D-Mich. helped his fellow Democrats secure the necessary votes after Obama issued an executive order upholding current law.

Those who oppose these reforms say they'll remember this vote come November's mid-term elections.

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CBN News
John Jessup

John Jessup

CBN News Anchor

John Jessup serves as the main news anchor for CBN, a position he assumed after 10 years reporting for the network in Washington, D.C. His work in broadcast news has earned him several awards in reporting, producing, and coordinating elections coverage. Follow John on Twitter @JohnCBNNews and "like" him at