Obama praises health reform vote

WASHINGTON (AP) - Now that the House and Senate have both passed their versions of health care reform, President Barack Obama is looking forward to signing what he calls "the most important piece of social legislation since Social Security."

But the negotiations with the House may not be easy ones, since the two measures different in several key areas.

Obama has been offering congratulations by phone to Senators who worked to pass health care reform -- and to Vicki Kennedy, whose late husband Ted had made health care his life's work in the Senate.

Obama says Congress is now "incredibly close to making health insurance reform a reality in this country."

He says lawmakers must now finish that job, and make 2010 the year health care reform arrives.

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