Local congressional leaders were split on the plan that moved reform closer to reality.
Rep. Susan Davis, who helped tack on provisions protecting patients' benefits to the plan, said the government oversight of the health care industry outlined in the new legislation is far overdue.
“We've seen in our financial institutions what happens when we didn't have the kind of government intervention when it was appropriate for that to occur,” Davis said.
Rep. Darrell Issa is an opponent of the legislation -- which would expand health care to tens of millions of Americans and place new restrictions on the insurance agency -- but agrees health care is a pressing challenge.
“It's sad, these problems are real, but the solutions do not match the problems one bit,” Issa said. “And there isn't a lot we can do. This is a pent up act of the left and the President will sign all of these bills.”
Issa is sponsoring House Resolution 34-38, a bill which would give people access to the same health care plans that members of Congress have.
A triumphant Speaker Nancy Pelosi compared the legislation to the passage of Social Security in 1935 and Medicare 30 years later.
Gov. Schwarzenegger was encouraged by the progress made in Congress, but says there is a lot more work to be done to improve health care coverage and make sure states are not strapped with unfunded mandates and unfair costs.
“Finding the appropriate balance will be the difference between success and failure, and I urge our federal partners on both sides of the political aisle to continue to work together to prevent this historic opportunity from slipping away," he said.
The Democratic-controlled House narrowly passed far-reaching health care legislation, handing President Barack Obama a hard-won victory on his chief domestic priority, though the road ahead in the Senate promises to be rocky.