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US healthcare reform heads for final Senate vote

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US healthcare reform heads for final Senate vote


It took three days of votes in the Senate but finally President Obama’s healthcare bill is set for its final passage in the upper house of Congress today.

Once passed in the Senate it will still be subject to more tough horse-trading as it goes back to the lower house for the Senate amendments to be ironed out. But Obama is satisfied he has delivered on an election promise.

“We wanted to make sure that people who didn’t have health insurance could get it. And this bill covers 30 million people who didn’t have it. People who are buying this insurance should get what they pay for. This is going to give them a level of security that they have not seen before and frankly we have been fighting for for years, on a bipartisan basis,” said Obama on TV.

The reform will be expensive and is the biggest in the US system since 1965 when Medicare for the elderly was created. It would also mean for the first time nearly every American, 94 percent of them, will have medical insurance, Obama’s top legislative priority. Critics say the reform will drive up costs, increase the budget deficit, and reduce patient’s choices.

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