The Senate health care bill found 60 votes and cleared a major obstacle Monday morning. The diluted bill — which is expected to win final approval in the Senate this week — is a far cry from the public option-based draft initially proposed months ago. Nonetheless it aims to provide health coverage for 30 million who are now uninsured.

There are several more procedural hurdles before a final vote, which is tentatively scheduled for Christmas Eve. –JCL

The Guardian:

US healthcare reforms backed by Barack Obama passed a vital vote in the Senate , clearing the way for a bill to be passed before Christmas.

In the early hours a procedural measure to block Republican delaying tactics was passed in a 60-40 vote, with unanimous Democrat backing.

The vote all but assures the passage of healthcare reforms through the Senate, a feat that eluded generations of Democrats.

“We’ll get this passed before Christmas and it will be one of the best Christmas presents this Congress has ever given the American people,” Democratic senator Tom Harkin said.

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