Health Care Reform is Now Complete

Despite GOP scrambling, Congress passes tweaks to the new law.

Reps Dingell, Clyburn, Hoyer celebrate (Brendan Smialowski/Getty)

There's nothing like a landmark legislative win to make Democrats realize that hey, they are in the majority after all. Oh, the Republicans in the Senate tried to delay the passage of final fixes to the newly signed health care reform law by refusing to work past 2 pm and kicking the package of fixes back to the House of Representatives on a technicality.

But House Democrats said, no problem, we've got this. No hand wringing, no worries, just action. And within a few hours:

As expected, House Democrats had the votes Thursday evening to pass the legislation that fixed the health care law they passed earlier in the week.

The vote for final passage of the reconciliation bill was 220 to 207. The Senate passed the same bill earlier in the day.

The Kaiser Family Foundation has a lengthy comparison of the Senate bill which is what the House passed on Sunday and the "reconciled" bill which it voted on tonight which contained the so-called fixes to the legislation.

The fix removed some of the elements in the Senate bill that Republican opponents of the legislation and even some Democrats found objectionable. For instance, the legislation stripped out the so-called Cornhusker Kickback which would have exempted Nebraska from certain Medicaid payment increases.

Earlier in the day, Obama dared Republicans to run on repealing health care reform in November, and made this wisecrack: "You turn on the news, you'll see the same folks are still shouting about how it's going to be the end of the world because this bill passed....Leaders of the Republican Party, they called the passage of this bill 'Armageddon.' Armageddon! End of freedom as we know it! So after I signed the bill I looked around to see if there were any asteroids falling. Some cracks opening up in the Earth! Turned out it was a nice day!''

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