LEWISTON — U.S. Reps. Mike Michaud and Chellie Pingree, both Democrats, voted in support of the health care reform bill that passed the U.S. House of Representatives on Saturday by a vote of 220-215.
Michaud, who represents Maine's 2nd District, had said Friday he wasn't certain how he would vote. In a statement released on Saturday, Michaud said after hundreds of meetings and "lots of soul searching" he decided to support the sweeping legislation, despite his concerns.
"I have decided that being at the table will more effectively advance the interests of the people of Maine than by standing on the sidelines," he said in the statement. "I remain concerned about parts of the bill that cut Medicare and Medicaid. These concerns were raised by many in Maine, and I have made sure that they have been heard by the highest levels of government in our nation."
Pingree, who represents Maine's 1st District, had previously announced her support for the House bill.
"I am so proud to be here casting the vote that so many of my constituents have waited too long for," she said in a statement released Saturday. "This bill moves us much closer to a time when no one can be denied health care coverage because of a pre-existing condition, no one can be told you can't have health care coverage, no one will have to go into personal bankruptcy."
The U.S. Senate has yet to schedule a vote on its version of the legislation. If the Senate passes a health care bill, Democratic leadership from the House and Senate will meet to write a compromise version, which reconciles the differences between the two. Both would then have to pass the new draft of the legislation before it would get sent to the president's desk for a signature.