|Barack Obama's healthcare bill passed by Congress|
Read the entire article in The Guardian
US president says 'this is what change looks like' about reform that ensures coverage for 95% of Americans.
Barack Obama last night forced his bitterlyamara fought healthcare reform bill through Congress, bringing near-universal coverage to Americans and delivering the first major triumph of his presidency.
After days of manoeuvring by the Democratic party leadership to bring dissident party legislators on board and an impassionedappassionato pleaappello on Saturday by Obama, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi, confirmed that the votes were in the bag. She said she would not have decided to take the bill to a vote unless the necessary 216 Democrats had been secured to push the move through. As it was, the bill was passed by 219 votes to 212.
"Tonight, at a time when the punditsesperti said it was no longer possible, we rose above the weight of our politics," Obama said during a late-night appearance at the White House.
Every Republican opposed the bill, and 34 Democrats joined them in voting against it.
The reform, which will cost an estimated $940bn over 10 years, amounts to a massive change in US healthcare provision, expanding care to 32 million more people, predominantly the poorest, and giving the country 95% coverage.
Obama, whose poll ratingsgradimento nei sondaggi slipped amidscivolato tra criticism that he was a "do-nothing" president, needed at least one major policy success after a series of setbacks in the last 15 months. He told Hispanic members of Congress early last week that the fate of his presidency and their own chances in the mid-term congressional elections in November rested on passage of the bill. In his final
Given the huge consequences of failure, Obama spent the day on the phone lobbyingfacendo pressione colleagues. The vote provided the climax to a year of debate in which the bill at times seemed on the verge of passage and at others about to be scrappedcestinato. The issue has divided the country more than any other since the Vietnam war, and led to the rise of the anti-establishment movement the Tea Party.
Thousands of protesters gathered outside Congress at the weekend, shoutingstrillando, gridando "kill the bill". Some directed racist and other derogatory remarks at African-American members of Congress, including John Lewis, one of the veterans of the 1960s civil rights movement. One congressman was spat on. Another protester shouted "faggot" at Democratic congressman Barney Frank, who later told the Politico website: "It's like the Salem trialsprocessi witch strega , and healthcare is the witches. There is mass hysteria."
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