Even as his advisers moved to calm the financial storm that was buffeting the nation, President Obama pinned the hopes of his domestic agenda on overhauling the nation's health care system. It was a dogfight that consumed the first year of his presidency. It's easy to see that the ailing system is broken: despite ballooning expenditures, the U.S. comes up short in key health indicators, and some 46 million Americans lack coverage. But Obama struggled to convince the public that his plan was more palatable than the status quo. At town halls across the country during the summer, members of Congress were berated by incensed constituents who balked at the prospect of increasing costs, denounced the public option and spurred apocryphal rumors that "death panels" would be installed to ration end-of-life care. But even as the tenor of the debate grew nastier, the White House began to surmount critical hurdles. On Nov. 7, the House passed a sweeping bill by a razor-thin 220-215 margin; two weeks later, the Senate voted along party lines to send its proposed 10-year, $848 billion legislation to the floor of the chamber, paving the way for proceedings that are likely to rage into the New Year.