It's no surprise. But it's also NOT the victory Pelosi's painting it to be. Here's why.
First of all, it was a close vote... and it shouldn't have been with such solid control of the House by the Dems. They had to pare back abortion funding, a big issue for libs.
Second, it still contains the "mandate" to buy insurance. That's problematic for them, because it guarantees a court challenge should it even become law.
Third, the Senate has always been where the bigger problem lies, though the libs keep trying to spin that away. Without Snowe and Lieberman, Reid can't stop a filibuster, and neither will vote for cloture if it contains the "public option", which Reid's version does. So, he doesn't have the 60 votes he needs.
The Dems are trying to spin this in order to gin up a perception of momentum and inevitability, but no one's buying it (other than the MSM, of course). Reid's ALREADY said he's looking at the end of this year, or maybe January, for the Senate to pass a version... and this was a bill that originally was soooooo crucial it had to pass in AUGUST! Remember that?
THEN the two versions have to be reconciled. Well, if the House version has the "public option" and the Senate version doesn't, they've got ANOTHER huge problem on their hands. Plus, if this goes beyond the Christmas break they'll have lost all momentum... as well as having to face angry constituents again, AND it'll then be into an election year. Which is clearly what they wanted to avoid by rushing it through in the first place.
Frankly, I'm MUCH more interested in the legal challenge looming on any "mandated" participation.
That's huge. It's been completely underplayed until very recently, and frankly has the potential to undo this whole thing.
Any "mandate" is completely unconstitutional. The federal government doesn't have the power nor authority to "mandate" that anybody buy anything.
Any such mandate would be enforced by the imposition of a "tax penalty", which is a de facto civil/criminal fine for failing to act in a government-approved fashion. This raises several other issues.
Enforcement would require people to report personal medical information on their tax returns. This is a violation of medical confidentiality, as well as infringing the Fifth Amendment ban on self-incrimination. It also raises Fourth Amendment concerns.
The fine would be imposed without "due process", banned under the Fifth Amendment.
Further, this law would be, by definition, a Bill of Attainder, banned under Art. 1, Sect. 8 of the Constitution itself.
Those who try to say it's the same thing as state requirements for auto insurance are also way off base. First of all, states have a lot of powers the feds don't. Further, there's NO requirement that everyone buy insurance in order to drive. There's only a requirement that cars driven on public roads be insured, and only for damage to the property of others. If you own a car that's never driven on public roads, it never has to be insured. If as a licensed driver you only drive other people's cars, you never have to buy insurance. Further... you're NEVER required by law to insure your car against damage to ITSELF. If you never drive at all, you never have to get insurance. If you can prove "financial responsibility" or post a bond, you don't have to have insurance. State car insurance laws are completely irrelevant to the discussion.
The fat lady hasn't sung yet. Stay tuned.
UPDATE, 9 NOVEMBER:
An AP analysis in today's news confirms my assessment of the situation, it seems: