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Final House Panel Approves Health Reform Bill

 
TXGal4Truth
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07/31/2009 10:40 PM

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Final House Panel Approves Health Reform Bill
[link to www.foxnews.com]

Final House Panel Approves Health Reform Bill

The vote was made possible by a deal brokered earlier this week between Democratic leaders and conservative "Blue Dog" Democrats, though health reform legislation still is being held up in one Senate committee.

WASHINGTON -- A key House panel approved its version of major health care reform package Friday night, setting the full House up for a debate on the legislation after its August recess.

The House Energy and Commerce Committee, which voted Friday, was the last of three panels to approve a health bill. The vote, 31-28, was made possible by a deal brokered earlier this week between Democratic leaders and conservative "Blue Dog" Democrats, though health reform legislation still is being held up in one Senate committee.

The Blue Dogs wanted to dial back a "public option" where the government offers health care for Americans. They also sought protections for small business owners and significant cost reductions.

All but five Democrats on the committee voted for the plan. The other Democrats, Reps. Charlie Melancon of Louisiana, Bart Stupak of Michigan, Rick Boucher of Virginia, Jim Matheson of Utah and John Barrow of Georgia joined all Republicans in opposing the legislation.

House Democrats intend to spend August selling the health care bill to the public. They hope the effort will enable them to call a vote on the measure before the whole House in September.

Republicans, on the other hand, intend to use August to gin up opposition to the plan.

Just before the final vote, both Democrats and Republicans stood to give a standing ovation to Rep. John Dingell, D-Mich., for whom the bill is named. Dingell is the most-senior member of the House, starting his career in the 1950s. Dingell's father preceded him in the House and worked on approving health care reform in the 1940s.
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