Final vote seals landmark US healthcare bill
Issued on: Modified:
The US Congress has put the final touches to President Barak Obama's historic healthcare overhaul, passing a set of technical changes to the legislation. The House of Representatives voted 220-207 for the free-standing package of fixes just four days after approving the underlying bill. The bill will extend coverage to more than 32 million more Americans.
No Senate Republicans voted in favour of the bill while three Democrats voted against. On the floor of the House, Republican Representative Mike Pence made a last-minute appeal to stop 'Obamacare'. Shortly before the vote, Democrat George Miller insisted that with the bill's passage the benefits for Americans would start immediately.
"We promised to do what's right for the American people, not for insurance companies," he said.
But the divided US Congress united to denounce theats and violence aimed at lawmakers who voted for the Obama's bill.
Democratic House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer said the police and the FBI had been called in after more than 10 Democrats reported threats or vandalism. These includes a faxed message with a noose, a brick thrown through a window and obscenity-laced voicemail messages.
Democratic leaders also claimed Republican support was behind angry weekend demonstrations against the bill which could have fuelled threats against their party members.
Two Republican politicians have said that they too were threatened.
Daily newsletterReceive essential international news every morningSubscribe