The Senate health committee has passed legislation to revamp health care, becoming the first congressional committee to act on President Barack Obama's goal of overhauling the system this year.
The Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee voted 13-10 along party lines to pass a $600-billion measure that would expand coverage to nearly all Americans by requiring individuals get insurance and employers to contribute to the cost. The bill would provide federal aid to families and individuals making less than four times the poverty level, or about $88,000 for a family of four.
Massachusetts Sen. Edward Kennedy, the chairman, wasn't there for the milestone vote. He's being treated for brain cancer.