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Obama’s healthcare bill clears first Senate hurdle

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Paul Gallagher
London Guardian
Sunday, November 22, 2009

Barack Obama’s healthcare reform bill cleared a crucial hurdle last night when the Democrats secured the 60 votes needed in the US Senate allowing debate to begin on 30 November.

Two Democratic senators whose support had been in doubt said they would back the move, which was one of President Obama’s key election pledges. The measure is designed to extend health coverage to an estimated 31 million Americans who lack it and crack down on insurance industry practices that deny benefits.

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Obamas healthcare bill clears first Senate hurdle 121109banner2

In the first Senate test for President Obama’s top domestic priority, Democrats in the 100-member chamber unanimously backed a procedural motion to open debate over the opposition of 39 Senate Republicans; one Republican did not vote.

Victory was assured earlier in the day when the last two Democrats holding out, Blanche Lincoln of Arkansas and Mary Landrieu of Louisiana, said they would support the motion but would not commit to backing the final bill without changes.

This article was posted: Sunday, November 22, 2009 at 8:44 am





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