Sunday, Nov 8th, 2009

The House of Representatives passed a sweeping health care bill Saturday night with a tight vote of 220-215, making it the biggest expansion of health care coverage since Medicare was created more than 40 years ago.

The Affordable Health Care for America Act, or H.R. 3962, restricts insurance companies from denying coverage to anyone with a pre-existing condition or charging higher premiums based on gender or medical history. It also provides federal subsidies to those who cannot afford it and guarantees coverage for 96 percent of Americans, according to the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office.

However, turning the bill into law remains uncertain.

The bill barely squeaked by in the Democrat-controlled House, with just one Republican voting for it — first-time lawmaker Joseph Cao who holds a seat in predominantly Democratic New Orleans.

One hundred and seventy-six Republicans opposed it, as did 39 Democrats.

The Senate must now pass its own version of the health care legislation.

Full article here