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Obama hails Senate passage of health care bill

WASHINGTON - WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama has hailed Senate passage of an historic health care bill, saying the government is now "finally poised to deliver on the promise" of overhauling a troubled system.

Speaking not long after the Senate passed the $871 billion bill by a 60-39 vote, Obama welcomed the vote as bringing America "toward the end of a nearly century-long struggle." He said presidents since Theodore Roosevelt in 1912 have been trying unsuccessfully to overhaul medical care.

Standing in the State Room of the White House before leaving on a holiday trip to his home state of Hawaii, Obama said the measure the Senate passed earlier Thursday "includes the toughest measures ever taken to hold the insurance industry accountable."

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