In a victory for President Barack Obama, the Democratic-controlled House narrowly passed landmark health care legislation Saturday night to expand coverage to tens of millions who lack it and place tough new restrictions on the insurance industry. Republican opposition was nearly unanimous.
The 220-215 vote cleared the way for the Senate to begin debate on the issue that has come to overshadow all others in Congress.
Local Representative Corrine Brown voted for the proposal, while area members Ander Crenshaw, John Mica, Cliff Stearns and Jack Kingston from Georgia voted against it.
Brown said " For Floridians in particular, where more than one in five residents do not have health insurance, and for my constituents in Florida's third congressional district and minority communities nationwide, the need for health care reform is obvious. It is imperative."
Representative John Mica said "It is a sad day for Congress and in particular a sad day for Americans who lack health care coverage. The Democrats totally miss the mark. People want lower premiums, increased access, less costs and red tape. They want choice and quality health care."