The vote, which was taken in an unusual fashion, with senators seated and voting from their desks, split along party lines, with all 40 Republicans voting no. Sen. Olympia Snowe (R-Maine) rose and announced her nay vote with an affect of regret in her voice.
The bill does not include a public health insurance option that would compete with private insurers in order to keep them honest. The proposal does include tighter regulations on the insurance industry than currently exist, but the law would not create any new regulatory agencies and would leave policing the new rules to individual states, which have shown an inability to combat the major insurers. Those companies will have billions more in resources if the Senate bill becomes law.