The US Senate has approved President Barack Obama’s historic healthcare reforms, helping the proposals clear a major hurdle en route to becoming law.
The overhaul is top of Obama’s legislation priorities and has been the centre of fierce debate for months. The intention is to make health care available to 94 per cent of Americans.
The Senate bill now has to be merged with a bill passed by the House of Representatives before it becomes law. Obama called it the most important piece of social legislation in the US since the 1930s, and the most important health reforms since the mid 1960s.
“We are now finally poised to deliver on the promise of real, meaningful health insurance reform that will bring additional security and stability to the American people,” Obama said.
“The reform bill that passed the Senate this morning, like the House bill, includes the toughest measures ever taken to hold the insurance industry accountable.
For the sake of our citizens, our economy, and our future, let’s make 2010 the year we finally reform health care in the United States of America. Everybody, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.”