The US health care reform bill cleared all hurdles yesterday as the House of Representatives passed the legislation, on a tight, party-line vote, handing President Barack Obama a victory of historic proportions.
''Today's vote answers the prayers of every American who has hoped deeply for something to be done about a healthcare system that works for insurance companies but not for ordinary people,'' Obama told reporters in the White House East Room.
Yesterday's 219-212 vote, in which only Democrats voted for the legislation, marks the biggest victory for Obama, who will now have to sign the bill into law.
''We pushed back on the undue influences of special interests,'' Obama proclaimed adding that ''We didn't give in to mistrust or to cynicism or to fear. Instead, we proved we are still a people capable of doing big things.''
''If you have health insurance this reform just gave you more control by reining the worst excesses and abuses of the insurance industry with some of the toughest consumer protections this country has ever known so that you are actually getting what you pay for,'' he said.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi made a final pitch for the bill, saying the president's economic agenda is at stake.
"The best action we can take on behalf of America's family budget and on behalf of the federal budget is to pass health care reform," she said.