News / USA

Obama to Sign Final Health Care Measure Next Week

Media reports say President Barack Obama will sign a package of changes next week to his historic health care reform bill, following approval of the bill by the U.S. Congress late Thursday.  

The so-called "fixes bill" completes the legislative process on health care reform, Mr. Obama's top domestic priority.  

He signed the historic health care reform into law Tuesday, but Congress still had the package of changes to approve.  Some Democrats in the House had demanded those changes in exchange for supporting the original health care reform bill.

Minority Republicans had tried to stall the package with a series of amendments, but all were rejected.

Republicans are solidly opposed to the health care reform law.  A survey by Quinnipiac University shows Americans in general are split on the issue, with nearly half of the respondents saying they disapprove of the new law, while 40 percent say they approve.  

When combined, the two bills offer health insurance coverage to more than 30 million Americans who lack health care coverage.   The bills prevent insurance companies from denying coverage to people with pre-existing health conditions, and require most businesses to offer health insurance coverage to their employees.  

The Democratic-controlled House of Representatives gave final approval to the "fixes" bill, with a vote of 220 to 207 Thursday.  The Senate approved the measure hours earlier.  The fixes included changes for student loans and the government health plan for seniors.  

Congressional Democrats and Republicans have been the target of threats and acts of vandalism following the health care vote.

The speaker of the House of Representatives, Democrat Nancy Pelosi, and Republican Minority Leader John Boehner, said those actions have no place in American politics.

Some information for this report was provided by AP and AFP.

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