In the US, the leader of the Democrat majority in the House of Representatives says they have enough votes to pass historic healthcare reform legislation in tonight’s long-awaited vote.
216 votes are needed to pass the bill. When asked, Steny Hoyer said: “We have the votes”.
The legislation has become a top priority for President Obama and is being seen as the defining issue of his first year in office.
But it has faced ferocious opposition from Republicans and some Democrats due to the cost.
The legislation, affecting almost every American, would extend coverage to an estimated 32 million uninsured.
Insurers would also be barred from refusing cover on the basis of existing medical conditions.
But Congressional analysts estimate the total cost of the legislation would be the equivalent of almost 700 billion euros over a decade.