Health Care Reconciliation Vehicle Clears Key Hurdle in House

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The House Budget Committee takes a first legislative step toward bringing a final health care bill to the House floor by voting 21-16 to report out language that will serve as a vehicle for changes to the Senate health care bill (H.R. 3590). The committee's action makes it possible for the legislation to come to the House floor by the end of the week. The vote is mostly along party lines. All Republicans present on the committee vote against the motion. They are joined by two Democrats—Rep. Boyd and Rep. Edwards of Texas. The Reconciliation Act of 2010 contains the higher thresholds for the 40 percent excise tax on high-cost health insurance premiums and new hospital insurance taxes on unearned income proposed by President Obama to help bridge the gap between the House- and Senate-passed health care overhaul bills.