Wintry weather may have engulfed Washington DC but political developments there are enough to warm the heart of the US President.
Barack Obama’s healthcare reform plans have been given a major boost. That is because, despite driving snowstorms, Democrats have secured the pivotal 60th vote needed to muscle the bill through the Senate.
“It now appears that the American people will have the vote they deserve on genuine reform that offers security to those that have health insurance and affordable options for those who do not,” Obama said.
Democrats in the Senate want the healthcare overhaul bill passed by Christmas. Helping make that possible, they have secured the elusive vote of socially conservative holdout senator Ben Nelson. He will now stand alongside his Democratic counterparts, after receiving guarantees on the restriction of federal funds for abortion.
The Senate bill would extend coverage to 30 million uninsured Americans and provide subsidies to help them pay for the coverage. If passed, it would give Barack Obama a major end-of-year victory on one of his top domestic priorities.