Democrats hailed the compromise as a major step forward while Republicans denounced it as a government takeover of health care, and both parties spent much of the day speaking more to their bases than anyone else.
Senate Health, Education Labor and Pensions Chairman Tom Harkin (D-Iowa) sought to ease the concerns of liberals, saying the legislation is not the end of health care reform, its the beginning of health care reform.
Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) vowed to continue to stall the bill and called it an absolute outrage thats being perpetrated on the American people.
Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., right, hugs Harold Schaitberger, General President of the International Association of Fire Fighters, after the Congressman spoke at the IAFF's Legislative Conference General Session at the Hyatt Regency on Capitol Hill, March 9, 2015. The day featured addresses by members of Congress and Vice President Joe Biden.