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Senate Passes Health Reform Package
Date:12/24/2009

compromise measure, then it would go to Obama for his signature, becoming law.

Some of the differences between the two bills could prove contentious, including stricter provisions in the House proposal against using taxpayer money to pay for abortion coverage and the House's income tax increase for high-earning Americans to help pay for the expanded coverage, the AP reported.

If the bill becomes law, it would represent the most significant change to the nation's health system since the introduction of Medicare in the 1960s.

Earlier this week, several prominent health-care experts threw their support behind the Senate version of the health reform package.

"Overall, it is a multi-dimensional attack on the problems of our health-care system," said Karen Davis, president of the Commonwealth Fund, and includes all of the essential elements for achieving the goals of ensuring access to care, making coverage more affordable and slowing the growth of health-care costs.

The American Medical Association on Monday announced its support of the Senate bill.

"All Americans deserve affordable, high-quality health coverage so they can get the medical care they need -- and this bill advances many of our priority issues for achieving the vision of a health system that works for patients and physicians," AMA President-elect Dr. Cecil B. Wilson said in a statement.

While Obama remains steadfast in his drive for health reform, the latest polling data from the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation suggests that the American public's outlook soured somewhat in December. Fifty-four percent of Americans now support health reform, while 41 percent say the nation cannot afford to take on health reform now. Those percentages mirror the spread in August, when angry citizens lambasted members of Congress at town hall debates across the country.

Thirty-five percent of Americans in December said they would be bet
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