The House passed health care reform legislation late Saturday, handing the President a hard-fought victory on his signature domestic policy.
Speaker Nancy Pelosi compared the legislation to the passage of Social Security in 1935 and Mediare 30 years later.
The legislation restricts insurance companies from charging higher premiums based on medical history or gender and denying coverage to anyone with a pre-existing conditions. According to the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office, the act guarantees coverage for 96 percent of Americans and provides subsidies to those who cannot afford health care.
Whether the bill will become law is uncertain.
The 220-215 vote for the Affordable Health Care for America Act clears the way for a Senate debate after barely clearing Democrat-controlled House where a single Republican -- first-time lawmaker Joseph Cao -- voted for it.
Thirty-nine Democrats opposed the bill as did 176 Republicans.