Late Sunday night the House of Representatives narrowly passed H.R. 3590 - the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. The final vote was 219-212, with all 178 Republicans and 34 Democrats voting against the bill. The package, which passed the Senate in December, is now on the President's desk. President Obama is expected to sign it on Monday.
The National Farmers Union issued a release praising passage of the legislation that they say is crucial to the well-being of farmers and ranchers and rural communities.
"The United States has a moral obligation to stop insurance companies from dropping coverage on ailing patients," said NFU President Roger Johnson. "Rural Americans are among the oldest in the population, and denying them the coverage they need based on preexisting conditions must be stopped."
A separate compromise package was also passed Sunday that will now be taken up by the Senate. It adds to the bill's total cost partly by expanding insurance subsidies for middle- and lower-income families. The measure would scale back the bill's taxes on expensive insurance plans.
Under the plan passed, most Americans will now be required to have health insurance or pay a fine. Larger employers will be required to provide coverage or risk financial penalties. Total individual out-of-pocket expenses will be capped.