With 219 votes for and 212 against, President Barack Obama’s controversial health care bill—receiving no Republican backing—has been voted into law. The event is being touted as Obama’s most significant victory since his election 16 months ago, extending health coverage to 32 million more Americans. The legislation will also contain measures to prohibit restrictive insurance practices—such as refusing to cover individuals with pre-existing medical conditions—and imposes new taxes on the wealthy. The bill was strongly opposed by Republicans, who felt that the reforms represented a government takeover of the health care industry, in addition to being too costly. The win is in part thanks to Obama’s last-minute lobbying of a bloc of anti-abortion lawmakers, who came over to his side late Sunday after Obama announced that the reform will not change existing restrictions barring federal money from being used for abortion.
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