- The Washington Times - Monday, December 21, 2009

President Obama on Monday called the Senate vote on health-care reform that passed overnight a “historic” moment that shows Capitol Hill lawmakers are “standing up to special interests.”

The 60-40 vote, with all 58 Democrats and two independents voting in favor, came at about 1 a.m. and blocked a potential filibuster by Republican lawmakers.

Mr. Obama spoke in the White House’s Diplomatic Reception Room before announcing a government cost-saving plan.

He repeated his message that the reform plan will save the government money and make insurance available and more affordable for millions more Americans — including small-business employees, seniors and those denied coverage by insurance companies because of pre-existing conditions.

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The president said the bill will save the federal government $132 billion over the first decade, “so I want to be clear for those who continue carping about how this bill will increase the deficit.”

Senate Democrats are trying to hold a final vote by Christmas Eve.

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