|Rep. Bart Stupak
One of several pro-life Democrats in Congress. Stupak nearly derailed the push for reform with his demand for stronger language on abortion. His efforts forced President Obama to promise an executive order banning federal funding for elective abortions. Stupak has represented the first congressional district of Michigan since 1993.
|Speaker Nancy Pelosi
The 60th speaker of the House of Representatives and the first female to serve in that role. As the Democrat’s key spokeswoman in Congress, Pelosi was an important figure in the health care debate. Pelosi has represented the eighth congressional district of California since 1987.
The ultimate law of the land, as interpreted by the Supreme Court. Bills passed through Congress cannot contradict constitutional law, and the constitutionality of any bill can be challenged. Ten state attorney generals, including Greg Abbott from Texas, are appealing the new health care bill, and some predict the vote may reach the Supreme Court.
|President Barack Obama
The 44th president of the U.S. made comprehensive health care reform a major part of his platform during his candidacy. Obama worked in conjunction with Speaker Pelosi, campaigning largely for a public option early on but eventually compromising with moderate Democrats and Republicans in an effort to push reform through Congress.
|Rep. John Boehner
The House minority leader and the voice of the Republican opposition. Boehner addressed the House on Sunday before the vote and implored members to reject the bill, saying it did not represent the interests of the people. Boehner has represented the eighth congressional district of Ohio since 2007.
|Sen. Scott Brown
A Republican senator from Massachusetts. Brown was elected to the Massachusetts Senate in a special election to fill the seat of the late Ted Kennedy, a Democrat. Brown eliminated the Democrats’ filibuster-proof 60-40 supermajority in the Senate.