Intended for healthcare professionals


Protests follow US Congress’s passing of health reform bill

BMJ 2010; 340 doi: (Published 30 March 2010) Cite this as: BMJ 2010;340:c1771
  1. Janice Hopkins Tanne
  1. 1New York

    Violent local protests took place after President Barack Obama signed into law the health reform bill passed on 21 March by the House of Representatives (BMJ 2010;340:c1635, 22 Mar, doi:10.1136/bmj.c1635). Days later, on 25 March, the House passed the reconciliation bill to finalise changes, bringing the different bills passed by the Senate and the House in line. The president will sign the reconciliation bill this week.

    Republicans moved immediately to repeal health reform. The attorneys general of 14 states began legal fights to declare the bill unconstitutional.

    Republicans said they would campaign on the issue in the November elections, when all members of the House of Representatives and a third of the Senate will be running for re-election.

    President Obama dared the Republicans to try that tactic. “If they want a fight we can have it,” he said to a supportive crowd in Iowa.

    In the past, important social legislation such as Social Security (pensions for elderly people) and Medicare and Medicaid (health insurance for elderly and poor people) met objections at first but then was widely accepted. Several polls have shown increasing support for health reform.

    Republicans said that health reform was unconstitutional because it forced people to buy health insurance …

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