WASHINGTON (AP) - The Democratic-controlled Congress has approved historic legislation extending health care to tens of millions of Americans who lack it and cracking down on insurance company abuses.
The vote in the House was 219-212. Republicans were unanimously opposed.
The House also passed key changes to its just-approved overhaul of health care legislation. The changes are part of a prearranged agreement to guarantee passage of the historic legislation.
The changes passed by a 220-211 vote. That bill now goes to the Senate for final approval, where it only requires a simple majority to pass.
The fast-track measure eliminates targeted provisions for specific states in the main health care bill. It softens a tax on high-value insurance plans opposed by organized labor.
It also contains an education provision that is a domestic priority of President Barack Obama. That measure increases college assistance for needy students and ends government reliance on private lenders for higher education loans.