House passes healthcare reform bill

WASHINGTON (AP) - President Barack Obama is praising Saturday night's historic vote by the House for a measure. In a statement, the president said "Thanks to the hard work of the House, we are just two steps away from achieving health care overhaul health insurance reform in America."

The Democratic-controlled House passed narrow vote of 220-215. The measure would expand coverage to tens of millions who lack it and place tough new restrictions on the insurance industry. Republican opposition was nearly unanimous.

The House legislation would prohibit coverage of abortions under a new government-run health care plan that would compete with private insurers. The amendment was a blow to liberals, who wanted to allow the Obama administration and its successors to decide whether abortions would be covered by the government plan.

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)