Monday, March 22, 2010

House Passes Health Care Reform Legislation: 219-210

The House of Representatives has passed the health care reform legislation by a vote of 219-210 late Sunday evening.

This final vote brings to a close a long debate that has taken place over the last year, but for many, the hard work is just beginning. Many activists are adamant that this legislation should be the starting point for more comprehensive and lasting reforms to the health care system. Jane Hamsher is one such activist and has posted a "mythbusting" piece about what this legislation does and doesn't do. Hamsher states:

The Firedoglake health care team has been covering the debate in congress since it began last year. The health care bill will come up for a vote in the House on Sunday, and as Nancy Pelosi works to wrangle votes, we’ve been running a detailed whip count on where every member of Congress stands, updated throughout the day.

We’ve also taken a detailed look at the bill, and have come up with 18 often stated myths about this health care reform bill.

Real health care reform is the thing we’ve fought for from the start. It is desperately needed. But this bill falls short on many levels, and hurts many people more than it helps.

You can click here for a PDF version of the "18 myths" that Hamsher references in her post.

As Democrats revel in the passage of this historic legislation tonight, Republicans went down swinging. Rep. John Boehner (R-OH) even went so far as to shout "Hell No" during the end of the period for debate:

After the initial passage of the legislation, members of the House were to vote on a Republican motion to recommit the bill over the issue of Federal funding for abortion. Rep. Bart Stupak (D-MI) is a pro-life Democrat who had initially objected to this bill's so-called inclusion of Federal funding for abortions, but rose to urge members of the House to vote against recommitting the bill based upon this issue. As Stupak was making his remarks, there was a call for order and then you could hear someone yell out, calling Stupak a "baby killer". Here is the video:

As of this writing it is not clear which member of the House shouted this at Stupak. It was initially reported that the shouter was Rep. Tom Campbell (R-CA), but he was quick to say that he was not the culprit. He did give Talking Points Memo a few more clues to who may have been responsible:

Christina also reports that Rep. Tom Campbell (R-CA) told reporters that the "baby killer" was "clear as a bell."

I didn't look but it came from the floor, behind me and to the left.

And this:
It was close enough I decided not to turn around and look. ... It was in my area. I thought it was a southern accent.

Campbell returned a few moments later and said, "other people agree with me it was someone with a southern accent."

Campbell also said that some of the Republicans on the floor recognized the voice but would not say who it was.

The California Republican then came out again -- a third time -- and told reporters that "that is where the Texans sit. Californians are in one row, Texans sit behind us. I am being told it's a Texan. The people who know won't give it up."

It seems as though the ugly nature of some tea-party members spilled over into the House Chamber.

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