US House convenes ahead of critical health care vote

US House convenes ahead of critical health care vote

The US House of Representatives convened Sunday for one last critical showdown on a sweeping overhaul of the health care system, dpa reported.

Democratic leaders remained convinced they had secured the 216 votes needed for the legislation to pass over the opposition of Republicans and some moderate Democrats. But a handful of lawmakers had yet to publicly declare where they stood on President Barack Obama's top domestic priority.

The House was to hold a series of procedural votes throughout Sunday afternoon and a final vote was expected by the early evening. Lawmakers were to deliver some final impassioned pleas of their case during the proceedings.

"Will we choose the path of liberty, or will we choose the path of government tyranny?" asked Republican congressman Ted Poe, who strongly opposes the legislation.

Obama was on Capitol Hill Saturday rallying his fellow Democrats one last time to vote for the package of reforms, which were aimed at imposing new regulations on insurance companies and extending coverage to more than 30 million Americans who lack health insurance.

But a group of some 10 Democrats were still holding out over concerns that the bill could leave the door open for federal funding of abortions. Last-minute negotiations on a compromise could result in Obama issuing an executive order barring abortion funding.

The year-long debate over health care reforms has sharply divided the US public and united conservatives in opposition. A few hundred demonstrators gathered outside Capitol Hill and some had to be removed from inside the House chamber as debate got underway.

Obama's left-leaning Democrats have also been divided, with some preferring a more ambitious bill and others pushing for less drastic changes.

"This piece of historic legislation is built on the private insurance system that we have now and runs straight down the centre of American political thought," Obama told House Democrats Saturday.

Sunday will not be the final step in the long-running debate over how to reform a health system than engulfs about 17 per cent of the US economy.

The House will vote on a version of the health legislation that was approved by the Senate in December, and send the measure to Obama's desk for signature. But it will also adopt a round of changes that will have to go back to the Senate for final approval.

The drawn-out process has eroded Obama's popularity over the past year, and Republicans are hoping public anger toward the reforms will translate into electoral gains in November, when one-third of the Senate and the entire House will be up for grabs in mid-term congressional elections.

Democrats fear the failure to pass the reforms would be even more damaging, and are gambling the storm will pass once health care is actually approved.

Under the bill, Americans will for the first time be required to buy at least basic health insurance or face a fine. The Congressional Budget Office (CBO), a non-partisan arbiter of legislative costs, last week estimated that the reforms will cost 940 billion dollars over 10 years and expand coverage to about 32 million more Americans.

The costs will be offset by a mix of new taxes and savings from within the system. The CBO predicted the entire bill would actually lower the federal budget deficit by 138 billion dollars over the next 10 years, and by 1 trillion dollars in the following decade.

Disney to layoff about 32,000 workers in first half of 2021
Disney to layoff about 32,000 workers in first half of 2021
India records 44,489 new coronavirus cases
India records 44,489 new coronavirus cases
Amazon workers in Germany to go on strike on 'Black Friday'
Amazon workers in Germany to go on strike on 'Black Friday'
Loading Bars
Latest
Swedish royals test positive for COVID-19
England reveals new regional COVID tiers in fight against coronavirus
Azerbaijani gymnasts reach finals of 36th European Championship in Ukraine
Georgia continues to support its citizens amid COVID-19 pandemic
News on return of Azerbaijani soldier captured by Armenians false, relative says
Azerbaijan sends note of protest to France
Ample opportunities for investments to be created in Karabakh – minister
Azerbaijani's negotiations with UAE on renewables nearing completion
Kazakhstan, Mongolia eye signing roadmap for trade, economic co-op
Russia bans import of tomatoes from Uzbekistan’s Fergana region
36th COMCEC session opens under chairmanship of Turkish president (PHOTO)
Uzbek Ministry of Finance publishes draft law on increasing taxes on gasoline, diesel
Russian Gazprombank predicts Azerbaijan's economic recovery in 2021
iPhone 12 Pro Max and iPhone 12 Mini now at Azercell Exclusive shops!
Iran becomes self-sufficient in building oil, gas platforms
Cotton growing in Azerbaijan hits record - agriculture ministry
Italian municipalities adopt documents expressing solidarity with Azerbaijani people
Uzbekistan to grow industrial cannabis in Sardoba district
Azerbaijan detects 3,705 new COVID-19 cases, 1,609 recoveries
Turkmen Ministry of Construction opens tender for equestrian sports complex construction
Azerbaijani, Saudi FMs exchange views on current situation in Karabakh
Uzbekistan reveals data on its ICT sphere enterprises and organizations
Azerbaijan to export persimmons to Slovakia and Czech Republic
Level of religious tolerance in Azerbaijan is much higher than in France - ISESCO ex-director
Kazakhstan's exports to Switzerland decrease year-on-year
Azerbaijani medical insurance agency signs contract with tender-winning IT company
Resolution adopted by French Senate must be canceled – Azerbaijani NGO head
Volume of Turkish textile clothing supplies to Kazakh market surges
Latvian AirBaltic cancels Riga-Tbilisi-Riga flights
Reconnaissance work completed within Baiterek space complex creation in Kazakhstan
Thermal power plant modernization, other projects underway in Kazakhstan's Karaganda
Georgia imposes further restrictions to curb spread of coronavirus
Georgian carrier to launch regular cargo flights from China to Europe
Russia's Rostelecom expects to develop transit routes through Turkmenistan
Average monthly salary in Azerbaijan's Nakhchivan rises
Azerbaijani, Afghan FMs discuss latest situation in region
WB, AIIB to fund rural infrastructure development in Uzbekistan
Azerbaijani, Indonesian FMs stress importance of trilateral ceasefire statement
Austria fully supports Uzbekistan obtaining of EU’s GSP beneficiary status
Turkmenistan's Dashoguz region opens tender for installation work
France not part of Karabakh settlement, but part of problem - Turkish defense minister
Japanese companies to provide technical support for terry production in Uzbekistan
Germany's hotspot district to launch COVID-19 mass tests for children
Yield of citrus fruits in Azerbaijan up
Capital of Kazakh companies operating in Turkey revealed
Iran boosts its pistachio exports
World Economic Forum announces Azerbaijan's road quality score
Share of assets in Azerbaijani banking sector declines
Kazakhstan eyeing amending legislation to support renewable energy dev't
Georgian Hualing Free Industrial Zone plans to finalize deal with 4 new companies
Mortgage lending in Azerbaijan through state line grows manifold
Kazakhstan to launch hundreds of industrial projects before year-end
Azerbaijani ICT company wins tender on purchase of licenses
Central Bank of Azerbaijan discloses data from foreign exchange auction
Employment in Iran's West Azerbaijan Province increases
Buta Airways to Increase the Frequency of Flights Performed to Izmir
Azerbaijan, Hungary discuss possibilities of attracting investors to liberated territories
Georgian Huliang FIZ offering available land plots to potential investors
Azerbaijani NBCO talks about its activities amid coronavirus
Azerbaijan’s carpet producer signs tender contract
Many members of French Senate unaware war in Karabakh ended (VIDEO)
Number of people infected with coronavirus pandemic in Iran exceeds 900,000
Baku Stock Exchange admits local investment company
Uzbekistan eyes to set up local production of various vaccines
France does not deserve Azerbaijan’s confidence – senator
Bahar Azadi gold coin price still falling in Iran
Bank mortgages in Azerbaijan rise
Full text of Azerbaijani parliament’s statement against French Senate’s resolution
Iran's economy remains strong and steady – Iran's president
Turkmenistan to be vital strategic partner, gas supplier to China long-term - Wood Mackenzie
EDB talks Kazakhstan's economy growth forecast, return to pre-COVID levels
Ambassadors of Turkey, Iran to Azerbaijan hold discusses on Karabakh
“I am quite sure that giving a hand to customers in this challenging time will pay off in the future”: interview with Dariusz Kacprzyk, Member of Supervisory Board of AccessBank Azerbaijan
Import of Turkish ready-made clothes by Iran down
Water resources of Azerbaijan’s Kalbajar district to be re-explored
Turkey's export of ready-made clothes to Uzbekistan down
Money supply in Azerbaijan grows - CBA
Lending to banking sector in Azerbaijan up
Turkmenistan raises 10M2020 imports of Turkish ready-made clothes
Uzbek gas chemical company opens tender for insurance services
Precious metal prices in Azerbaijan up
Azerbaijan’s natural gas exports to Turkey down by 8%
German manufactures interested in buying high-quality walnuts in Georgia
New carpet factory opens in Turkmenistan
German company builds float glass plant in Uzbekistan’s Zarafshan city
Iranian oil minister talks about petrochemical facilities launched in Iran
Azerbaijan can't be pressured by adopting some paper piece - parliament's vice speaker
Azerbaijani parliament voices appeal to government due to France
Azerbaijan to implement digitalization of services of local executive authorities
French Senate betrays democratic values - Turkish government
China's import of Turkish cement up
Azerbaijani parliament condemns resolution adopted by French Senate
AP highlights devastation caused by Armenia in Azerbaijan’s Aghdam
Azerbaijan's ADY Express boosts daily volume of cargo handling at Astara terminal
Turkish Foreign Ministry condemns French Senate’s resolution on Karabakh
French Senate's resolution is not binding, says ambassador
Azerbaijani Ministry of Communications developing final strategy of 'Smart City' project
Protesters give statement in front of French embassy in Baku (PHOTO/VIDEO)
Integration of modern solutions contributes to growth of online sales - MiMobile
Georgia eyes to minimize negative impact of global crisis on country's private sector
All news