Bay Area reacts to health bill's passage

November 8, 2009 5:20:40 PM PST
On both sides of the political aisle and both sides of the bay, the House's narrow passage of a health care reform bill drew praise and condemnation. The partisan divide is not limited to just Washington D.C. There is great disagreement in the Bay Area as well.

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Steve Tyson of Gilroy says, "It's basically socialism."

On a busy San Jose intersection, dozens of protesters tried to rally opposition Sunday.

"Wake up American," one woman yelled through a bullhorn.

Many call the plan that would require most Americans to be insured or face penalties "socialism." They say the $1.2 trillion price tag is too much money and that generations to come will end up paying for it.

"I don't believe the government is competent and I sure as heck don't want the government in control of my body in any way shape or form," says Ellie Black of Santa Cruz.

In San Francisco, hundreds packed a church in the Fillmore district for a prayer action in support of a national health care overhaul. They say no cost is too much.

Rabbi Camille Angels says, "If our country's to be great, we have to come together and spend all the money and resources we can so that we can stand by our faith."

Perhaps the only middle ground for both sides is that the next battleground is the U.S. Senate. Democrats there are ready for their own bill. Senate leaders want to keep that plan under $900 billion over 10 years.

"We'll go to the Senate now," says Eleanor Traeg of Los Gatos. "Barbara Boxer and Feinstein, and a list of people that are the conservative democrats, they'll get messages from me too."

Opponents and supporters may be ready to lobby the Senate, but political observers say the House bill already appears to be dead on arrival. Many Senate leaders concede they may not even be able to finish the health care reform debate any time this year.

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