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Fall-out of Obama health-care reforms

Business Times - 29 Dec 2009


Fall-out of Obama health-care reforms

Despite passage of Bill, intense political fight over issue has weakened public support for US president

By LEON HADAR
WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT

AFTER several months of nasty public debate and heated Congressional deliberations - marked by the political rise of Tea-Party crowd and the notorious 'birthers' and 'deathers' - the US Senate passed a modest but solid healthcare reform bill that could extend coverage to 31 million uninsured Americans.

The final passage of the bill, on a 60-39 vote along party lines with no Republican support, is seen as a huge political victory and a historic achievement for US President Barack Obama.

Most observers expect the Senate and the House of Representatives to fuse their respective versions of the health-care bill when lawmakers return to Washington early next year, and a final draft of the legislation will be signed by Mr Obama probably before he delivers his State of …