After a daylong clash with Republicans over what has been a Democratic goal for decades, lawmakers voted 220 to 215 to approve a plan that would cost $1.1 trillion over 10 years. Democrats said the legislation would provide overdue relief to Americans struggling to buy or hold on to health insurance.
“This is our moment to revolutionize health care in this country,” said Representative George Miller, Democrat of California and one of the chief architects of the bill.
Democrats were forced to make major concessions on insurance coverage for abortions to attract the final votes to secure passage, a wrenching compromise for the numerous abortion-rights advocates in their ranks.
Many of them hope to make changes to the amendment during negotiations with the Senate, which will now become the main battleground in the health care fight as Democrats there ready their own bill for what is likely to be extensive floor debate.