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Historic Healthcare Bill Passed

President Barack Obama, left, with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, D-CA., right, during his visit to Capitol Hill to meet with House Democrats in Washington, Saturday, March 20, 2010. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

The healthcare reform bill was passed by the House on March 21, with a 219-212 vote. The passage comes hours after President Barack Obama’s agreement to issue an executive order prohibiting the use of federal funds for abortions. 
The bill promises to cover 32 million currently uninsured people, while allowing those already covered more control over their policies. It’s expected to cost taxpayers $940 billion dollars over the next 10 years, according to a preliminary report by the Congressional Budget Office. But, over the next two decades, health care reform could reduce the country’s deficit by more than $1 trillion dollars, in Medicare and Medicaid savings, as well as tax revenue. 
However, physicians now face 21.2% in cuts for Medicare payments over the next three years. As it stands now,Medicare doctors pay for their patients to receive care, and are reimbursed after the fact. If Medicare does not repay the amount of money paid for drugs and staff, doctors are unable to run sustainable practices. Overall, according to CNN.com, the cuts in Medicare reimbursements, set to go in effect on April 1, will counteract any savings procured by the healthcare reform bill. 
On March 23, the Senate will review the bill passed this evening, as well as the Medicare legislation in question. 
Obama said in a press conference after the vote, “Tonight’s vote is not a victory for any one party… it’s a victory for the American people. And it’s a victory for common sense.”
-Ashley Wennersherron, Editor and Chief
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