Laura Litvan and Kristin Jensen
Sunday, Dec 20th, 2009
The U.S. Senate is poised tomorrow to take an early morning vote that will lead toward passage of the most sweeping overhaul of the nation’s health-care system in more than four decades.
The vote to cut off debate is scheduled for 1 a.m., Monday, in a U.S. Capitol blanketed by a snowstorm and filled with weary senators and staff. Democrats, finally united in favor of the bill, are using the clock to overcome delaying tactics by Republicans universally opposed to the effort.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid plans to win final passage by Dec. 24 now that he secured the vote of his party’s last holdout, Nebraska Senator Ben Nelson. The 10-year, $871 billion bill is designed to cover 31 million uninsured Americans, curb costs and place new restrictions on insurers.
“The American people will have the vote they deserve on genuine reform,” President Barack Obama, who has made the issue his top legislative priority, told reporters yesterday. “We are on the cusp of making health-care reform a reality.”
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