The House narrowly passed landmark health care legislation tonight to expand coverage to tens of millions who lack it and place tough new restrictions on the insurance industry. The measure passed 220-215 with only one Republican—Louisiana's Joseph Cao—in favor and 39 Democrats opposed. "Oh, what a night," said a triumphant Nancy Pelosi. The vote clears the way for the Senate to begin debate on its own bill.
In the run-up to a final vote, conservatives from the two parties joined forces to impose tough new restrictions on abortion coverage. They prevailed on a roll call of 240-194, and the vote cleared the way for conservative Democrats to back the overall bill. The legislation would require most Americans to carry insurance and provide subsidies to those who can't afford it. Large companies would have to offer coverage to their employees. Its estimated cost is $1.1 trillion over 10 years.