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health carnage

Senate Passes Health Care

Just now, the Senate hit the magic 60-vote threshold, finally approving the health-care bill (and setting everyone loose for the holidays — CNN showed Claire McCaskill bolting through the parking lot as soon as the job was done). The final, Republican-free tally was 60-39.

92-year-old Robert Byrd, who's often confined to his sick bed, was wheeled onto the chamber floor and, before casting his vote, announced, "I am casting this vote for health-care reform for my friend Ted Kennedy." Kennedy's widow Vicki Kennedy was present, as were several White House staffers.

And as for Majority Leader Harry Reid? Clearly delirious with exhaustion (or the holiday spirit!), he accidentally voted no. To much laughter, he put his head in his hands and quickly changed his vote. On Christmas, you get a do-over like that. Chamber-floor hugs and backslaps for everyone!

Senate Passes Healthcare Overhaul Bill [NYT]

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Photo: Getty Images