After 25 days of debate—the second-longest in Senate history—the Senate passed a landmark health-care bill Christmas Eve morning, as expected, by a margin of 60-39, with Democrats and two Independents joining together against Republicans. The bill cleared three 60-vote procedural hurdles earlier in the week and will overhaul the nation's health-care system, extending access to health insurance for tens of millions Americans by requiring almost everyone to buy insurance, forbidding denial based on pre-existing conditions, expanding the Medicaid rolls by 15 million people, and subsidizing coverage for low- and middle-income families. The bill won't become law until it is merged with the House's bill that passed earlier this year. Thursday morning's historic vote was the first Christmas Eve vote since 1895, when the issue on the table was employment of former Confederate officers.
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