Health Care Bill Passes House, Awaits President's Signature

March 21, 2010

A transformative health care bill is headed to President Barack Obama for his signature.

On the cusp of succeeding where numerous past congresses and administrations have failed, jubilant House Democrats voted 219-212 late Sunday to send legislation to Obama that will extend coverage to 32 million uninsured Americans. The legislation's also designed to reduce deficits and ban insurance company practices such as denying coverage to people with pre-existing medical conditions.

Obama's young presidency received a boost from passage of the legislation, which will touch the lives of nearly every American. Republicans opposed the bill, saying it's too expensive and calling it a government takeover.

A senior administration official says it's most likely that Obama will sign the bill tomorrow, but the plans are not yet final.

A companion package of changes sought by House Democrats to the larger bill is headed to the Senate for approval. But Republicans plan to make parliamentary objections that could force the package to go back to the House.