Healtcare bill passes U.S. House with help from local Congressman

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by Rachel Nix

WHAS11.com

Posted on November 8, 2009 at 4:53 PM

The U.S. House by just 5 votes voted to approve the sweeping changes to the health care bill.

The House voted 220 to 215 to move along the $1.2 trillion measure. It came after a long day of debate.

The democratic-proposed bill would require most Americans to carry medical insurance and provide federal subsidies to those who otherwise could not afford it.

Large companies would have to offer coverage to their employees. Both consumers and companies would be slapped with penalties if they defy the government's mandates.

Most of these votes were predictable, right along party lines, which certainly favored the democrats. But clearly not all democrats voted in favor of this.

The final vote was 220 to 215, a difference of only five votes, and one of those came from Congressman Baron Hill.

It's the day long debate over a piece of legislation that could make history, HR 3962, the controversial health care bill.

It’s a bill that has divided the country as well as Kentuckiana representatives but the spilt seems to be right along party lines. Republican Congressmen Brett Guthrie and Geoff Davis both voted against this bill.

On the other side Representative John Yarmuth voted in favor of the bill.

In a statement to WHAS11 News, Yarmuth says,

“The citizens of Louisville, Kentucky, sent me here to this body largely to help bring us to this historic moment. By an overwhelming margin, they've told me they want changes to the system that will guarantee them access to high-quality care that is always affordable and accessible."

But even after this, HR 3962 still has a big hurdle, the Senate.

Nevertheless, Shannon Turner, U of L Associate VP of Health Affairs says, this is a day that will go down in history.

"Many presidents have tried this before and this is as far as anyone has ever gotten. President Obama has moved this further than anyone in history. This was very important to President Clinton and he didn't even get close to where we are tonight," said Turner.

Again, Representative Baron Hill, considered to be one of those blue dog democrats voted in favor of this bill which clearly was a deciding factor in determining whether this legislation passed.

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