U.S. Senate Passes Landmark Healthcare Reform Bill

by Steve Handelsman
NBC News

WASHINGTON, D.C. - The Senate has passed it's version of the long awaited health care reform bill.

Senators arrived at the Capitol while it was still dark out for the historic vote.

The plan will provide health care coverage for over 30-million Americans.

Republicans tried to block passage of this version of the bill, saying it's unconstitutional to require Americans to have health insurance.

President Obama praised the 60-39 vote shortly afterwards.

"With passage of reform bills in both the House and the Senate, we are now finally poised to deliver on the promise of real, meaningful health insurance reform," Obama said.

Unlike the House plan, the Senate's version does not include a government run insurance plan, the so-called public option.

The President says that will not warrant a veto from him.

House and Senate leaders will begin working on a compromise bill in the new year.

Differences will have to be worked out before a final version of the bill is sent to the president to be signed into law.