News / USA

Obama to Soon Sign Major Health Care Reform

Health care reform has cleared the U.S. Congress after roughly a year of legislative drama on Capitol Hill. The House of Representatives passed the necessary legislation, on a tight, party-line vote, handing President Barack Obama a crucial victory. Mr. Obama is to soon sign the bill into law.

Multimedia

Audio
TEXT SIZE - +

It was a close victory for President Obama, but a victory nonetheless.

"We pushed back on the undue influences of special interests," he said. "We didn't give in to mistrust or to cynicism or to fear.  Instead, we proved we are still a people capable of doing big things."

He staked his young presidency on the outcome of this vote.  House Speaker Nancy Pelosi made a final pitch for the bill, saying the president's economic agenda is at stake.

"The best action we can take on behalf of America's family budget and on behalf of the federal budget is to pass health care reform," she said.

In a country where most people rely on private insurance to help meet their medical costs, Democrats said the goal was to provide access to affordable coverage for as many Americans as possible.

Republicans stood united in opposition to the legislation, claiming it would increase the national debt, and put the government in firm control of the health care system.

As the debate came to a close, House Minority leader John Boehner issued a warning. "We have failed to listen to America," he said. "And, we have failed to reflect the will our our constituents.

The passions at play were evident both inside and outside the House chamber.   

Protesters gathered on the Capitol lawn during the debate, yelling in an attempt to make their own voices heard.

There was anger from a woman from the state of Georgia.  "There needs to be something done, but this is not it," she said.

And there was fear in the voice of a man from Missouri. "It needs to be reformed.  It's broken," he said.  "But spending us into oblivion is not the way to do it."

Supporters of the bill were there too.  Jesse Jackson - a veteran of the civil rights movement - stood in the shadow of the Capital as a witness to history.

"To win this battle is a major step toward changing our entire health care system," he said.

Nearby, there were a few people holding signs backing the bill.  They were outnumber by the opponents.  But they could sense a legislative victory.

"It's a start," she said.  "I'm just really excited. I had to be down here today."

It was a day for the history books....but not the end of the story.  While the health care bill has cleared Congress, the Senate must still sign-off on a series of changes approved by the House. Senators are expected to act this week.

You May Like

Algerians Vote in Presidential Election

There were few media reports of protests and clashes around the country, but so far no significant violence More

Sharks More Evolved than Previously Thought

The discovery could “profoundly affect our understanding of evolutionary history” More

Pakistan Military Asked to Protect Polio Workers

Request comes as authorities say a Taliban ban on vaccinations in 2012 and deadly attacks on anti-polio teams have prevented thousands of children from getting inoculated More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Google Buys Drone Companyi
|| 0:00:00
...
 
🔇
X
George Putic
April 15, 2014
In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Google Buys Drone Company

In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Ray Bonneville Sings the Blues and More on New CD

Singer/songwriter Ray Bonneville has released a new CD called “Easy Gone” with music that reflects his musical and personal journey from French-speaking Canada to his current home in Austin,Texas. The eclectic artist’s fan base extends from Texas to various parts of North America and Europe. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin.
Video

Video Millions Labor in Pakistan's Informal Economy

The World Bank says that in Pakistan, roughly 70 percent work in the so-called informal sector, a part of the economy that is unregulated and untaxed. VOA's Sharon Behn reports from Islamabad on how the informal sector impact's the Pakistani economy.
Video

Video Passover Celebrates Liberation from Bondage

Jewish people around the world are celebrating Passover, a commemoration of their liberation from slavery in Egypt more than 3,300 years ago. According to scripture, God helped the Jews, led by Moses, escape bondage in Egypt and cross the Red Sea into the desert. Zlatica Hoke reports that the story of the Jewish Exodus resonates with other people trying to escape slave-like conditions.
Video

Video Police Pursue Hate Crime Charges Against Kansas Shooting Suspect

Prosecutors are sifting through the evidence in the wake of Sunday’s shootings in a suburb of Kansas City, Missouri that left three people dead. A suspect in the shootings taken into custody is a white supremacist. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, he was well-known to law enforcement agencies and human rights groups alike.
Video

Video In Eastern Ukraine, Pro-unity Activists Emerge from Shadows

Amid the pro-Russian uprisings in eastern Ukraine, there is a large body of activists who support Ukrainian unity and reject Russian intervention. Their activities have remained largely underground, but they are preparing to take on their pro-Moscow opponents, as Henry Ridgwell reports from the eastern city of Donetsk.
Video

Video Basket Maker’s Skills Have World Reach

A prestigious craft show in the U.S. capital offers one-of-a-kind creations by more than 120 artists working in a variety of media. As VOA’s Julie Taboh reports from Washington, one artist lucky enough to be selected says sharing her skills with women overseas is just as significant.
Video

Video UN Report Urges Speedier Action to Avoid Climate Disaster

A new United Nations report says the world must switch from fossil fuels to cleaner energy sources to control the effects of climate change. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released the report (Sunday) following a meeting of scientists and government representatives in Berlin. The comprehensive review follows two recent IPCC reports that detail the certainty of climate change, its impacts and in this most recent report what to do about it. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble has the details.
AppleAndroid