Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 10 October 2015

US Senate passes Obama's healthcare bill

Published 24/12/2009

US President Barack Obama
US President Barack Obama

President Barack Obama's healthcare reform bill was passed today in an historic vote by US Senators.

The bill aims to extend medical insurance to 30 million Americans and forbids insurance companies from denying coverage based on patients' pre-existing conditions.

The 60-39 vote on a cold morning capped months of arduous negotiations and 24 days of floor debate. It 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.

The Senate's bill must still be merged with legislation passed by the House before Mr Obama could sign a final bill in the new year.

There are significant differences between the two measures but Democrats say they have come too far now to fail.

Vicki Kennedy, the widow of the late Massachusetts Senator Edward Kennedy, who made health reform his life's work, watched the vote from the gallery.

"This morning isn't the end of the process, it's merely the beginning. We'll continue to build on this success to improve our health system even more," Majority Leader Harry Reid said before the vote.

"But that process cannot begin unless we start today ... There may not be a next time."

The House passed its own measure in November. The White House and Congress have now come further toward the goal of a comprehensive overhaul of the nation's health care system than any of their predecessors.

From the web

Sponsored Videos

Your Comments

COMMENT RULES: Comments that are judged to be defamatory, abusive or in bad taste are not acceptable and contributors who consistently fall below certain criteria will be permanently blacklisted. The moderator will not enter into debate with individual contributors and the moderator’s decision is final. It is Belfast Telegraph policy to close comments on court cases, tribunals and active legal investigations. We may also close comments on articles which are being targeted for abuse. Problems with commenting?

Read More

From Belfast Telegraph