A $2.1 trillion bill that would lead to a sweeping overhaul of America's health care system narrowly passed the U.S. House by a 220-215 vote late Saturday night.
House Democrats needed 218 votes to push the legislation through. Thirty-nine Democrats broke ranks and voted against the bill, as did nearly ever Republican House member, except for one.
in a statement earlier Saturday, U.S. Rep. John Barrow (D-Savannah) said he could not support the bill making its way to the House floor.
"Fixing the broken health care system is one of the most important issues of this generation, and it's one of the reasons I came to Congress. I hoped the bill we're voting on today would have done more to fix the problem, but we're not there yet.
"There are things we need to do right now to fix the health insurance system, like outlawing discrimination based on preexisting conditions, and making sure that small businesses and individuals can get insurance at the same rate as big businesses and the federal government. But this bill costs too much, doesn't regulate the insurance companies enough, and doesn't reform the system in a way to make health care sustainable.
"As I’ve said before, reform we cannot afford will not stand the test of time. This bill doesn’t bring the cost of health care down, and if we don’t do that now everyone’s going to pay more in the long run, and that’s unacceptable. We need real reform that drives down costs and actually makes health care more affordable for everyone, not just a temporary fix that has employers, small businesses, and some individuals footing the bill for everyone else. We’ve got to get costs down, and this bill just doesn’t do that. I hope the Senate is able to pass a bill that does a better job of accomplishing these goals, and that we’ll have a chance to vote on something that works."