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WASHINGTON – In a triumph for President Barack Obama, Democrats narrowly pushed sweeping health care legislation through a key congressional committee Friday night and cleared the way for a September showdown in the House.
The main expansion of coverage would not come until 2013 — after the next presidential election. Even so, the political stakes are enormous for Obama and the Democrats as they strive to pass legislation that has proven elusive for years. Republicans are overwhelmingly opposed to the approach they chose, and outside groups on both sides of the issue arranged a heavy dose of television advertising over August.