Pelosi receives warm greeting at Glide 

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Sunday returned to her home district, where she celebrated the passage of a national health care bill with an appearance at a San Francisco church.

Speaking at the Glide Memorial United Methodist Church, the Democrat told an enthusiastic crowd of about 750 worshippers that the legislation's passage will make health care affordable for the middle class and eventually provide coverage for millions of uninsured Americans.

"We're celebrating really something that is historic, in terms of sitting right up there with Social Security, Medicare and the Civil Rights Act," Pelosi said as the hometown crowd stood and cheered.

Pelosi's address was her first public appearance in her home district since Congressional Democrats on Friday sent the final piece of legislation to President Barack Obama. The president is expected to sign the bill Tuesday.

The signing of the bill into law will end a long chapter in what has been a wrenching national debate over how to overhaul America's health care system.

Republicans, including House GOP leader John Boehner, bitterly opposed the overhaul to the end, arguing the bill would be bad for business and hurt the struggling U.S. economy. The Ohio congressman described the bill as a "grim moment for millions."

During her address Sunday, Pelosi said not only would the measure provide health care for millions of uninsured Americans, it would help stimulate the economy by being a "job creator."

She also downplayed concerns that some of her fellow Democrats would be more vulnerable to losing to Republicans when Americans vote in midterm elections this fall.

The church where Pelosi spoke is known for providing meals, health care and other social services to the jobless and homeless.

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A daily newspaper covering San Francisco, San Mateo County and serving Alameda, Marin and Santa Clara counties.
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