With the battle for healthcare reform in the US entering a crucial stage this weekend, Barack Obama travels to Virginia today to drum up support. The final version of the bill faces a critical vote in the House of Representatives on Sunday.
The aim is to cut the enormous budget deficit and provide health cover to some 30 million uninsured Americans. Republicans bitterly oppose the bill but some wavering Democrats are thought to have been won over.
The bill received a boost when Congressional analysts said the overhaul would significantly cut the US deficit over ten years.
The estimated savings of the equivalent of a hundred billion euros could boost the bill’s final passage – a crucial moment for Barack Obama.
He has put off a scheduled visit to Indonesia and Australia to oversee the vote.
“The only reason that we decided to delay this is because the most important domestic priority here in the United States is going to be voted on, and I have to be here,” said the President.
People in Jakarta, where a statue of Obama as a boy commemorates his childhood years spent in the Indonesian capital, will have to wait until June. But for now the president’s top domestic priority overshadows all other concerns.
US healthcare battle enters final phase