Reaction: Hail it or hate it
A sampling of reaction to the Senate's passage of health care overhaul legislation Thursday:
"With today's vote, we are now incredibly close to making health insurance reform a reality in this country. These are not small reforms. These are big reforms."
President Barack Obama
"We may not completely cure this crisis today or tomorrow, but we must start toward that end. We must strive for progress and not surrender for want of purity."
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev.
"My colleagues and I will work to stop this bill from becoming law."
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky.
The bill "does little to lower the cost of health care, and it is not reform. It implements crippling new taxes and hurts our ability to create jobs at the worst possible time for the economy."
Bruce Josten, a U.S. Chamber of Commerce executive vice president
"With passage by the Senate, the nation has moved one big step closer to comprehensive health care reform. To realize the promise of reform, we need … the choice of a public health insurance option."
Richard Kirsch, Health Care for America Now advocacy group national campaign manager
"Specific provisions in this legislation will increase, rather than decrease, health care costs; reduce coverage options; and disrupt existing coverage for families, seniors and small businesses."
Karen Ignagni, America's Health Insurance Plans president and CEO
"Despite doing some good things, the Senate bill remains inadequate. … The House bill is the right model. … It covers more people, takes effect more quickly and is financed more fairly."
Richard Trumka, AFL-CIO president
"The bill passed by the Senate makes needed progress to prevent coverage denials due to health status and limit insurance companies from charging older Americans much more for coverage because of their age."
Barry Rand, AARP CEO
The House and Senate bills "threaten to strip millions of women of their abortion coverage and stigmatize a constitutionally protected medical procedure."
Nancy Northup, Center for Reproductive Rights president
"The Democrats have put a $2.5 trillion lump of coal in the stocking of every American, knowing that their risky health care experiment still increases premiums, still cuts Medicare and still enacts hundreds of billions of new taxes to pay for it."
Michael Steele, Republican National Committee chairman
"The Senate health care bill is far from perfect. … The bill still delivers meaningful reform, and the cost of inaction is simply too high."
Sen. Russ Feingold, D-Wis.