Senate Passes Health Reform Legislation

December 24, 2009

After months of heated debate, legislative wrangling and attempts to win votes from reluctant lawmakers, the U.S. Senate passed its version of health care reform legislation in an early morning vote on Christmas Eve.

Now, the Senate legislation must be reconciled with a version passed earlier by the House, with significant substantive differences. Brookings expert Henry Aaron says the Senate vote, cast along straight party lines, keeps prospects for health care reform alive. He discusses the thorny tasks that lie ahead for the House-Senate conference committee.