Health Care Bill Passes

BBC NEWS | Americas | US House backs healthcare reforms
The US House of Representatives has backed a healthcare bill in a step towards reforms promised by President Obama, despite strong opposition.

Passed in a narrow 220-215 vote, the bill aims to extend coverage to 36 million more Americans and provide affordable healthcare to 96%.

The bill now has to be reconciled with a separate Senate draft law.

President Obama has made reform of America's healthcare system a central plank of his domestic agenda.

He described Saturday's vote in the House as "historic", saying he was "absolutely confident" the Senate would also back it.

Correspondents say the legislation could lead to the biggest changes in American healthcare in decades.

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