Scalpels at dawn, ahead of US healthcare vote

Euronews-The battle over health care reform in the US continues to rage.

A major Senate Committee is set to vote on a bill aimed at spreading coverage to most Americans and reducing insurance costs.

But a health insurance lobbying group has released a report saying the measure would drive up family premiums over the next decade by close to 3000 euros a year.

While the White House says the report is self-serving, some analysts warn it could scupper the bill.

Princeton University history professor Julian Zelizer said: “What the insurance industry must be trying to do is negotiate for something by threatening to pull out of the negotiations. The question is, do they get certain kinds of concessions as a result of these ads and this report?”

The White House has little Republican support for the bill and Democrats are divided over it.

“If too much is added, the costs go up and the role of government increases,” Zelizer continued. “I think then that the White House is nervous that they could lose these votes.”

President Barack Obama wants action on healthcare by the end of the year.

But even if the Senate Finance Committee passes the bill, it will still face many more hurdles and undergo many changes before it brings about the reform the President says is urgently needed.

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