House Passes Reconciliation Bill to Complete $940 Billion Health Care Bill
The House voted 220-211 March 21 to finish its share of work to enact a broad overhaul of the nation's health care system, paid for with $438 billion in new taxes and fees on insurers, businesses, and families.
With the House's approval of the Health Care and Education Affordability Reconciliation Act (H.R. 4872), key provisions of the Senate-originated bill (H.R. 3590) were modified to raise additional revenues from high-income households and reduce the impact that the new 40 percent excise tax on high-cost health insurance policies will have on middle-class households.
“History has been made today. We promised health reform and we have delivered it,” said Rep. George Miller (D-Calif.), chairman of the House Education and Labor Committee. “This bill will create millions of jobs, reduce the federal budget deficit, and finally hold accountable the insurance companies that have caused so much panic and pain in the lives of hard-working Americans.”
In a previous vote of 219-212, the House cleared the $871 billion Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (H.R. 3590), originally passed by the Senate on Dec. 24, 2009, to President Obama for his signature. Obama is expected to sign that bill into law during the week of March 22. After the vote, Obama said the Senate will take up the reconciliation bill March 23.
On net, the total changes to the Senate bill because of the reconciliation bill would produce legislation that costs $940 billion and reduce federal deficits in the 2010-2019 period by $143 billion, while expanding health insurance coverage to 32 million additional people. Without the reconciliation bill, the Senate bill would cost $950 billion and cut the federal deficit by $118 billion, according to the Congressional Budget Office.