Home > American Healthcare > Obama-Healthscare Bill Nearing Final Approval or Abortion

Obama-Healthscare Bill Nearing Final Approval or Abortion

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Senate Democrats cleared the last 60-vote hurdle on U.S. President Barack Obama’s healthcare overhaul on Wednesday, virtually ensuring final passage of its version of the biggest health policy changes in four decades.

For a third straight day, Democrats mustered the 60 party-line votes needed to keep the healthcare bill on track for passage on Thursday over unified Republican opposition.

The vote on final approval, which requires a simple majority in the 100-member Senate, is slated for 7 a.m. EST (1200 GMT) on Christmas Eve on Thursday.

Passage in the Senate would set up potentially tough negotiations in January to iron out differences with the House of Representatives, which approved its own version on November 7. …

It also would require most Americans to have insurance, give subsidies to help some pay for it, and create state-based exchanges where the uninsured can compare and shop for plans. Many of the major provisions would not kick in until 2014.

Passage of the bill is critical for Obama, whose political standing and legislative agenda could hinge on its success. Obama’s public approval ratings have dipped to about 50 percent in many polls as the acrimonious debate dragged on. …

Democrats hope to complete House-Senate negotiations and send the bill to Obama before his State of the Union message in late January, although previous deadlines in the healthcare debate have been missed repeatedly. …

The House-Senate negotiations could be difficult, with clashes looming on a government-run insurance plan, which is in the House bill but not the Senate one, and competing approaches on taxes and the use of federal funds to pay for abortions.

Full article here.

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