by Wendy Wan
After a year-long battle, change has finally arrived in America with the passing of the historic and controversial legislation to provide universal health care coverage in America.
The House of Representatives voted the legislation through by 219 votes to 212. This will see healthcare coverage for 32 million Americans without it, and the cracking down on insurance company abuses.
The passing of the bill is so far the most significant victory for the Obama administration since being elected 16 months ago. Barack Obama is expected to sign the bill later and said the vote proved, “we can still tackle big things.”
Adding, “we proved that this government – a government of the people and by the people, still works for the people.”
Republicans had hoped to block the passage to thwart the President’s ambitious domestic agenda which included immigration reform, and climate change legislation.
This new health legislation will see insurance extended to virtually all Americans, news taxes imposed on the wealthy and restrictive insurance practices, such as refusing to provide coverage to people with pre-existing medical conditions be barred.
Republicans agreed that the bill would affect everyone in America, but warned about the burden that will be imposed, most significantly 900 billion dollars (600 billion pounds) in tax increases.
The late Senator Edward Kennedy worked his entire career for a nationwide healthcare, and it seemed after his death Obama’s healthcare quest was at a dead end after Reublicans won an election to fill the late Senator’s Massachusetts seat, and with it, enough votes to prevent a final vote.
“Health care isn’t only a civil right, it’s a moral issue,” said Democatic Representative Patrick Kennedy.