WASHINGTON, Dec. 21 (Xinhua) -- The United States' landmark health care legislation passed a crucial procedural test in a Senate vote in the wee hours of Monday ahead of a final vote later in the week.
Under congressional rules, the vote is the first of three separate votes to finally pass the 871-billion-U.S.-dollar overhaul of the U.S. health care system.
A final vote is expected on Wednesday or Thursday.
In the latest of a series of deals struck by Democrats to hold together their party to support the legislation, the last holdout Democrat Senator Ben Nelson (D-Nebraska) agreed on last Saturday to support the bill in return for compromise language on federal funding for abortion and more money for his state.
After that, Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada claimed that the bill has gained support from all 60 members of the Democratic caucus in the Senate.