The measure passed on Saturday night by a margin of 60-39. (Those 39 votes were all by Republicans who apparently don't care if you're sick and uninsured.)
I watched some of the floor comments on television and online. A lot of points were made on both sides (some more valid than others).
But, of all of the drama that took place on the Senate floor on Saturday, there was one scene that stood out to me the most. That was a speech by Sen. Bob Menendez (D-NJ), who spoke out brilliantly in favor of health care reform. Here is a sampling:
"Those who have chosen to block any attempt at health care reform this year are on the wrong side of history."And then he enumerated how the Republicans throughout this century have done the same thing -- attempted to block social progress:
"There are those who raised the specter of socialism then, and said 'No' to Social Security. They said 'No' to unemployment insurance when President Roosevelt proposed it as part of the Social Security Act. They said 'No' when John Kennedy and Lyndon Johnson fought for Medicare. 'No' to the Civil Rights Act. 'No' to the Voting Rights Act. 'No' to the Clean Air and Clean Water Act. They said 'No' to job programs. 'No' to increasing unemployment insurance when people needed it the most. They have said 'No' to government oversight of polluters who poison our land with toxic waste, and then they have said 'No' to cleaning it up.And then it gets even better as he starts talking about insurance company greed.
"They have been on the wrong side of history for almost a century on every major piece of legislation that has leveled the playing field for average Americans. And they are on the wrong side of history once again. All we hear from the other side of the aisle is the dim echo of the past, with no plan for the future..."
Watch the whole speech on YouTube (9:34) here.