President Obama has won his battle to bring in landmark healthcare reform. It is expected to become law soon following the successful vote in the House of Representatives.
It marks the biggest change to the US health system for decades, aiming to provide cover for more than thirty million uninsured Americans.
The President said afterwards: “Tonight at a time when the pundits said it was no longer possible, the United States Congress finally declared that America’s workers, families and small businesses deserved the security of knowing that here in this country, neither illness nor accident should endanger the dreams they’ve worked a lifetime to achieve.”
He went on to say that the health vote did not mark the end of the work that faced the country: “The work of revitalising our economy goes on. The work of promoting private sector job creation goes on. The work of putting American families dreams back within reach goes on. And, we march on with renewed confidence energised by this victory on their behalf.”
The legislation has proven to be among the most divisive issues in Congress in decades. No Republicans backed the bill – they still plan to challenge it in the Senate. To get it passed, the President had to make last-minute concessions to anti-abortionists.
Although they lost the vote, the issue has galvanised the President’s opponents, who say the reforms will nationalise the health industry. They hope to revive the issue before November’s legislative elections.