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Deal on health bill is reached

Posted By aaron On December 20, 2009 @ 1:41 pm In Featured Stories | Comments Disabled

Shailagh Murray and Lori Montgomery
Washington Post
Sunday, Dec 20th, 2009

Senate Democrats said Saturday that they had closed ranks in support of legislation to overhaul the nation’s health-care system, ending months of internal division and clearing a path for quick Senate passage of President Obama’s top domestic policy priority.

Majority Leader Harry M. Reid (D-Nev.) secured the pivotal 60th vote after acceding to the demands of Sen. Ben Nelson (D-Neb.) for tighter restrictions on insurance coverage for abortions, along with increased federal aid for his home state and breaks for favored health-care interests.

[efoods]“Change is never easy, but change is what’s necessary in America,” Nelson said at a morning news conference, announcing his support as a snowstorm raged outside.

Speaking at the White House, Obama said it appears that a vote is certain on a bill that would provide coverage to more than 30 million uninsured Americans. “After a nearly century-long struggle, we are on the cusp of making health-care reform a reality,” said Obama, who had dispatched senior administration officials to help lock down Nelson’s support.

Republicans excoriated the bill as a threat to Medicare — cuts to the program for the elderly would offset much of the cost — and to the employer-based insurance system, which provides health coverage to most Americans.

“This bill is a monstrosity,” said Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.). “This is not renaming the post office. Make no mistake — this bill will reshape our nation and our lives.”

Full article here


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