Reforming the US healthcare system has become more of a reality after a key Senate committee approved a bill to do just that.
The finance panel backed the measure by 14 to 9 votes. The first Republican also voted for the reforms albeit with qualifications. Addressing the committee Senator Olympia Snowe said: “I say that my vote today is my vote today. It does not forecast what my vote will be tomorrow.” Bu there is still a long way to go and Republican opposition to what they see as more government control remains entrenched. Senator Jon Kyl gave his opinion saying, “ the whole point of healthcare reform is to make things better for Americans. The bill fails that test while imposing huge costs and limiting choice. And that is why it should be rejected.” For President Barack Obama the vote is a major step forward. He’s set overhauling the US healthcare system so more low paid Americans can have access to medical treatment as his top domestic policy. The bill in its present form requires all US citizens to have health insurance and provides subsidies on a sliding scale to help buy it. But the measure does not include a government-run “public” insurance option backed by the president – that remains something liberal Democrats say they will still fight for.