Senate Approves Landmark Health Care Bill

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After weeks of wrangling, the vote in the Senate went strictly along partisan lines. The bill aims to extend coverage to some 31 million Americans who lack health insurance. President Obama called the vote historic. The Senate measure must still be reconciled with a House version. Lawmakers hope to complete the process by early February.

LINDA WERTHEIMER, host:

The Senate approved the health care overhaul this morning, its first roll call vote on Christmas Eve since 1895. After weeks of wrangling, the vote went along party lines. Democrats all voted yes, no Republicans did.

President Obama called the vote historic.

President BARACK OBAMA: Members of the Senate joined their colleagues in the House of Representatives to pass a landmark health insurance reform package, legislation that brings us toward the end of a nearly century-long struggle to reform America's health care system.

WERTHEIMER: The Senate bill covers 31 Americans who now lack health insurance. The Senate measure must be reconciled with another version that's already passed the House.

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