by Erica Werner WASHINGTON (AP) — Senate Democrats passed a landmark health care bill in a climactic Christmas Eve vote that could define President Barack Obama’s legacy and usher in near-universal medical coverage for the first time in U.S. history. LANDMARK LEGISLATION–President Barack Obama, accompanied by Vice President Joe Biden, speaks in the State Dining Room of the White House in Washington, Dec. 24, after the Senate passed the health care reform bill. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci) The 60-39 vote on a cold winter morning capped months of arduous negotiations and 24 days of floor debate. It also followed a succession of failures by past congresses to get to this point. Vice President Joe Biden presided as 58 Democrats and two independents voted "yes." Republicans unanimously voted "no."