Obama praises health reform vote - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Obama praises health reform vote

WASHINGTON. - President Barack Obama says Congress is now "incredibly close to making health insurance reform a reality in this country." He says lawmakers must now finish that job, and make 2010 the year health care reform arrives.
     
Months of negotiations and 24 days of floor debate ended this morning as the Senate easily passed the landmark health care overhaul bill. It requires nearly all Americans to buy insurance and forbids insurance companies from denying coverage based on pre-existing conditions.
     
The final vote on the 10-year, nearly $1 trillion bill was 60-39 in the Senate's first Christmas Eve vote since 1895.
     
The legislation still needs to be reconciled with a House version early next year. It could define President Barack Obama's legacy and usher in near-universal medical coverage for the first time in U.S. history.

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