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BREAKING: House passes healthcare reform
The House has just passed the Democratic healthcare reform bill by a razor thin margin.
The final vote was 220-215, with one Republican--Rep. Joseph Cao (R-La.)--casting a surprise "yes" vote. 39 Democrats voted against the legislation.
Cao, who had previously offered tepid words of support for the bill but was under pressure from GOP leaders to vote "no," saved his "yes" vote until it was clear the bill would pass anyway.
Democrats burst out in applause as soon as the vote count ticked to 218, the minimum number of votes needed for passage.
The passage of Rep. Bart Stupak's (D-Mich.) amendment, which barred plans that cover abortion from receiving federal subsidies, secured enough votes from centrist Democrats to push through the larger bill.
Democrats cheered out a new year's style countdown as the voting period came to a close.