The House of Representatives has backed President Obama’s sweeping overhaul of the US healthcare system.
It was a close call with 220 in favour while 215 voted nay. Its a political triumph for Obama who made changes to the healthcare system his number one domestic priority: “The bill that the House has produced will provide stability and security for Americans who have insurance; quality, affordable options for those who don’t; and lower costs for American families and American businesses. And as I’ve insisted from the beginning, it is a bill that is fully paid for and will actually reduce our long-term federal deficit,” he said. The landmark vote followed days of heavy lobbying of sceptical Democrats by the president. Defeat would have finished off his plans and impaired the rest of his legislative agenda. Opponents of reform claim tax payers cannot afford to foot a bill of close to 1 trillion US dollars over 10 years – supporters say the current insurance based regime is expensive and leaves millions of Americans without adequate healthcare.