Washington (CNN) – The Senate passed a sweeping $871 billion health care reform plan Thursday morning, giving President Barack Obama a major victory on his top domestic priority.
The bill passed in a strict 60 to 39 party line vote. Every member of the Democratic caucus backed the measure; every Republican opposed it.
The Senate bill now has to be merged with a roughly $1 trillion plan approved by the House of Representatives in November. Democrats will have to bridge differences on a range of thorny issues, including how to pay for a compromise plan, language relating to abortion coverage, and whether to include a government-run public health insurance option.
Democratic leaders hope to have a bill ready for Obama's signature before the president's State of the Union address early next year.