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Healthcare bill passes; neutralizes Europe’s last ‘zinger’ against us

Day 63/365: Stethoscope32 million more Americans will have insurance. Flagrant insurance industry abuses will be banned. And student loans will be reformed.

All of that is well and good, but of course the most important thing about the healthcare bill is that it is now much harder for Europeans to play the “at least we have healthcare” argument in debates.  Now they will have to increasingly rely on more bizarre lines of attack. Score America!

For a European perspective, check out this story from the Times of London.

Congress approved sweeping reforms of the US healthcare system last night that will outlaw flagrant abuses by insurance companies and bring near-universal health coverage to America for the first time in its history.

In a vote likely to transform the Obama presidency after a year of setbacks, anti-abortion Democrats dropped a threat to oppose the reforms and sided with their party to pass the biggest expansion of America’s social safety net since the 1960s.

The $940 billion measure, which was passed by 219 votes to 212, will extend health coverage to 32 million people who now lack it by requiring individuals to buy insurance and subsidising premiums for those who cannot afford them.

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