House Passes Healthcare Reform with Little Hope for Senate Approval

Posted on November 9, 2009 by



Senator Joseph Lieberman of Connecticut is opposed to the bill

The House of Representatives passed a sweeping healthcare reform bill on Saturday by a total of 220-215 votes.  Only 39 of 258 Democrats voted against the bill, while all but one Republican opposed the plan.

Joseph Cao of Louisiana was the lone Republican representative to support the bill.

While House Dems had enough of a majority to push the legislation through without some of their own, their Senate counterparts will not be so fortunate.  Senate Dems would need all of their own and the two independents all to join together in signing a cloture petition to avoid a Republican filibuster.

“As a matter of conscience, I will not allow this bill to come to a final vote,” Senator Joseph Lieberman of Connecticut told the media Sunday.  As one of those two independents, Lieberman’s disapproval means that Democrats will need at least one Republican to join their cause.

The only Republican who has hinted at giving any such assistance is Olympia Snowe of Maine.  She has said that she might support a health bill with a so-called “trigger option.”  This would allow for a public plan only if in a few years premiums have continued to rise at a certain rate.

Although the House vote was heralded Saturday night as a victory for the Democrats, it currently looks like only a moral one.