New health care law still faces challenges

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New health care law still faces challenges

Times Bulletin – VAN WERT – President Barack Obama signed into law on Tuesday the contentious health care reform bill after over a year of debate. The next question is now: What's next?

The U.S. Senate is now going through the reconciliation process or what they have now labeled the "Fix-it Bill." During this part of the operation, any senator – Democrat or Republican – can author amendments to the bill.

Several Republicans have already sent bills to the Senate leadership for consideration and most of those attack the more onerous parts like the so-called Cornhusker Kickback, Florida Gator-Aid and the Louisiana Purchase. Those were multi-million dollar programs that gave federal funds to certain senators for their states for affirmative votes. If any amendments are voted in by the senate, then the bill must go back to the House of Representatives where it will be voted on again.

In Ohio, Van Wert County's congressional representatives have taken a different view of what is correctly being termed groundbreaking legislation.

"This is a historic moment for our country," said Sen. Sherrod Brown. "While passing this bill hasn't been easy, neither was passing Medicare in 1965 after a 22-year battle. Before Medicare, half of the nation's seniors had no health coverage. Now, 97 percent of them do. The critics of this legislation, like those of previous generations who railed against the creation of Medicare and Social Security, will be on the wrong side of history. They are playing to the fears of Americans, a cynical political strategy that will not succeed."

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