NPR health blogger Scott Hensley reports that national health reform legislation cleared an important procedural hurdle in the Senate early this morning with the filibuster-proof 60 votes needed to ultimately pass the bill. He writes:
The Senate bill would bring health coverage to about 30 million uninsured people in the U.S. within a decade and curtail insurance industry practices that make it difficult for people to get and keep private coverage. The Congressional Budget Office estimates it would cost $871 billion over the first 10 years.
The bill also includes a slew of provisions to benefit specific, often tiny constituencies in key states, reports Robert Pear in The New York Times, such as people in Libby, Montana exposed to asbestos from a vermiculite mine.
Meanwhile, Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley, the Democratic nominee for U.S. Senate, is apparently throwing her support behind the bill, according to the Boston Globe, even though it contains restrictions on abortion that pro-choice groups are calling unacceptable.
This program aired on December 21, 2009. The audio for this program is not available.