Senate Advances on Reshaping Healthcare Coverage

A crucial Senate committee has approved legislation to reform the nation’s healthcare system.  This is significant because it marks the first time the committee has acted on legislation to fulfill President Obama’s goal of reshaping how healthcare is paid for in the United States.s-obamated-large

Specifically, the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee voted 13 – 10 — along strict party lines — to endorse a $600 billion measure to expand coverage to virtually all Americans by requiring individuals to get insurance with their employers contributing to the cost.  If enacted into law, the legislation would provide federal aid to families and individuals who make less than four times the poverty level – approximately $88,000 for a family of four.

The committee’s chairman, Senator Ted Kennedy of Massachusetts, missed the vote because of his ongoing treatment for brain cancer.  Even though Senator Kennedy is acting behind the scenes in the push to pass this legislation, he remains one of the prime movers for enacting healthcare reform.

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