US health reform bill passes vital vote in SenateBMJ 2009; 339 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.b5622 (Published 23 December 2009) Cite this as: BMJ 2009;339:b5622
- Bob Roehr
- 1Washington DC
The deadlock on health reform in the United States Senate was broken in the early morning of 21 December with a 60-40 vote to the Democrats to end debate on the legislation. Other procedural votes must take place before a final vote on 24 December, long after the summer passage originally envisioned.
Democratic leader Senator Harry Reid had to mollify his party members and allies (two independents) to reach the 60 votes needed to end the filibuster because of solid opposition from Republicans.
Among the final concessions were those to Connecticut Democrat-turned-independent Joe Lieberman who opposed expansion of the federal Medicare programme for seniors to persons in their …