Updated: Monday, 21 Dec 2009, 6:43 AM EST
Published : Monday, 21 Dec 2009, 6:43 AM EST
WASHINGTON, D.C. (WIVB) - The senate worked late into the night to pass critical health care reform legislation.
Just after 1 a.m. Monday, health care reform cleared its toughest remaining hurdle in the senate.
Lawmakers voted along party lines to end debate on a bill that would extend insurance coverage to 30 million uninsured Americans, and stop insurers from denying coverage based on pre-existing conditions.
"This bill will provide real reform for our nation's flawed health care system," said Senator Max Baucus, D, Montana.
Nebraska Democrat Ben Nelson was the tipping point this weekend when he agreed to vote yes on the bill in exchange for a special deal for his home state.
National taxpayers will now be covering Nebraska's medicaid costs rather than state residents, a deal that angered many lawmakers.
"Now I know why the public hates us all so much up here. This kind of deal I think is unconstitutional. That's not compromise, that's bribery," said Senator Lindsay Graham, R, South Carolina.