Senator Bernie Sanders returned to Vermont after the Senate voted 60 to 39 for health care reform legislation. “The bill is not as strong as I wanted and I will work to improve it, but it begins to move this country toward the long-time goal of providing comprehensive, affordable health care for all Americans. The legislation would provide health insurance for 31 million people, end the odious practice of denying care for people with pre-existing conditions, and provide affordable primary care and low-cost prescription drugs for 25 million more Americans in 10,000 more communities. We can do better, but this is an important step forward.”
Vice President Biden presided over the Senate for the first Christmas Eve vote since 1895.
The action sets the stage for negotiations with the House, which last month passed a similar bill.
President Obama said after the vote that the health care bill was “the most important piece of social legislation since the Social Security Act passed in the 1930s.”