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Healthcare reform has finally made it to the Senate floor, and there's a chance that both houses might pass their different versions by the end of this year. As Senate debate gets underway we look at what's at stake for America's families. Also, the University of California has announced a new four-year course of study—in video game science.

Banner image: US Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (C) of Nevada speaks to the press with Senators Chris Dodd (R) of Connecticut and  Tom Harkin of Iowa after the Senate, torn along party lines, voted to formally launch debate on healthcare reform. Photo: Nicholas Kamm/AFP/Getty Images

Making News Obama Issues Order for More Troops in Afghanistan 7 MIN, 47 SEC

President Obama has issued orders for tens of thousands of additional US troops to go to Afghanistan. White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs addressed the issues of cost and an exit strategy by saying that the troop increase "is not an open-ended commitment." Republicans, who support an increase of troops, are suggesting that domestic issues be set aside, at least for the moment. Peter Speigel of the Wall Street Journal reports on what we can expect to hear when the President addresses the nation tomorrow night .

Peter Spiegel, Financial Times (@SpiegelPeter)

Main Topic Another Landmark for Healthcare Reform 37 MIN, 30 SEC

With a House bill already passed and the Senate beginning debate on its version today, healthcare reform is closer to reality than it's been in decades. But it won't be easy. No Republican voted to bring the bill to the floor, and Majority Leader Harry Reid needed every Democrat and both Independents, including some who said they would not support the bill itself in its present form. How many new people would be insured? How soon? Would the premiums be affordable? Would the rising cost of healthcare itself be brought under control? We look at those and other questions facing American families.

Ezra Klein, Vox (@ezraklein)
Uwe Reinhardt, Princeton University (@uwejreinhardt)
Len Nichols, George Mason University / Center for Health Policy Research and Ethics (@LenMNichols)
Nancy Kane, Professor of Management, Harvard's School of Public Health

Reporter's Notebook Majoring in Video Games 5 MIN, 42 SEC

Radio, television and film are media that have long been the subjects of academic study. The University of California's campus at Irvine, renown for excellence in traditional real-world subjects like engineering, medicine and business, is branching out into virtual reality. UCI students will now be able to get degrees in a major called “game science,” the study of video games. Magda El Zarki directs the University's Center for Computer Games & Virtual Worlds.

Magda El Zarki, Director, UC Irvine's Center for Computer Games and Virtual Worlds

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