Congress approves amendments to health reform bill

On March 25, Congress approved a reconciliation bill containing various amendments to the recently approved health care reform bill, according to The Washington Post.

The reconciliation bill passed the Senate by a 56-43 vote and the House by a 220-207 vote. It now goes to President Obama for his signature.

The amendments include uninsured people receiving more generous subsidies to buy coverage; increasing federal funding of Medicaid; accelerating enactment of new insurance restrictions that particularly benefit people with chronic medical conditions; and, in six months, allowing uninsured adults younger than 26 to be added to their parents’ health plans.

Democrats and Republicans continue to have opposing views regarding the bill.

"We have worked and waited for this moment for a century," says Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.). "This, of course, was a health bill. But it also was a jobs bill. It also was an economic recovery bill. It was a deficit-reduction bill. It was an anti-discrimination bill. It was, truly, a bill of rights. And now it is the law of the land."

"The only thing bipartisan about today's vote is the opposition to this bill," says Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.). "It is a historic mistake."

Congress now is preparing for a two-week recess.

Date : 3/29/2010