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babylonsister Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-21-09 04:56 AM
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A Bill Fit for a Kennedy
http://www.thedailybeast.com/blogs-and-stories/2009-12-... /

A Bill Fit for a Kennedy

by Adam Clymer


Time & Life Pictures / Getty Images

As Senate Democrats proclaimed the 60 votes needed to pass health-care reform, Kennedy biographer Adam Clymer says the late senator would have backed this bill.


Ted Kennedy thought this moment would come, though by this spring he did not expect to see it. In May, he wrote to President Obama that he was confident that while I will not be there when it happens, you will be the president who at long last signs into law the health-care reform that is the great unfinished business of our society. For me, this cause stretched across decades; it has been disappointed, but never finally defeated. It was the cause of my life. And in the past year, the prospect of victory sustained meand the work of achieving it summoned my energy and determination.

Kennedy influenced Obamas growing commitment to health carean issue that was more Hillary Clintons in the 2008 primaries. He did it in private, talking the issue up before making his critical endorsement, and again and again on the stump and at the Democratic convention, when he said this is the cause of my lifenew hope that we will break the old gridlock and guarantee that every Americannorth, south, east, west, young, oldwill have decent quality health care as a fundamental right and not as a privilege. We can meet these challenges with Barack Obama. Yes, we can, and finally, yes, we will. And Obama returned the compliment, citing Kennedys leadership when he urged Congress in September to move ahead, and telling Democrats at the White House how Kennedy had inspired him on the issue.

The brain tumor that killed him in August denied the Senate the chance of a more bipartisan measure. He conferred continuously with staff and colleagues by telephone as his committee worked through the bill in the spring. But he was not around this fall when the Senate could have used his legendary ability to make compromises with Republicans and then sell them to disappointed liberals.

snip//

It was left for others to do the final heavy lifting. Still, as Democrats bucked each other up in recent contentious caucuses, Sens. Dodd, John Kerry, Dick Durbin and Teddys old friend and appointed successor, Paul G. Kirk, reminded their colleagues of Kennedys commitment. Saturdays caucus watched a video that showed him. As Kirk told The Daily Beast Saturday, to a great extent the entire caucus continues to be moved by him and to see this as the culmination, the crowning achievement of his career.

On the Senate floor Wednesday, the 40th anniversary of Kennedys first speech advocating universal health care, Kirk said:

Ted Kennedys voice still echoes in this chamber. His spirit of hope and strength, of determination and perseverance is still felt here. Let each of us in this Senate be moved by the better angels of our nature and make that future a better one for our generation and generations to come. As Ted Kennedy said 40 years ago, All we need is the will.

The Senate legislation bears a cumbersome name: The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. Ultimately be legislation may be named for Reid and Nancy Pelosi. Or even, if thats what it takes to secure passage, for Joe Lieberman, or perhaps Ben Nelson and Bart Stupak. But fundamentally it will be the Kennedy health-care law.
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unblock Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-21-09 05:52 AM
Response to Original message
1. yes, teddy would have backed the bill.
but he also would have made better compromises.

he was not just a lion, he was also a giant.

and he is sorely missed.
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GeorgeGist Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-21-09 06:03 AM
Response to Original message
2. Babble on ...
Sister.
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liberal N proud Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-21-09 06:42 AM
Response to Original message
3. Teddy would have seen this as a step in the right direction
Not the ultimate but a wedge in that crack to get us in the door with reform with hopes of chiseling away until we had a better reform down the road.

Killing the bill would kill any chance at ever again attempting reform, this is the last hope of ever conquering the health care beast.
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jefferson_dem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-21-09 07:13 AM
Response to Reply #3
5. +1.
So true.
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Laelth Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-21-09 07:10 AM
Response to Original message
4. Teddy would never have supported a bill that prevented states from enacting single-payer systems.
At least, I don't think he would.

Kill the bill.


Forcing people to buy insurance is no more the answer to a failed health care system than forcing people to buy houses is the solution to homelessness.

:dem:

-Laelth
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babylonsister Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-21-09 07:21 AM
Response to Reply #4
6. His beloved wife thinks he would have, so I'll have to go with her opinion. nt
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Laelth Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-21-09 07:37 AM
Response to Reply #6
8. I could be wrong, of course.
If he did support a bill that prevented states from enacting single-payer systems, I would be saddened and disappointed.

There's no way to know, now.

Kill the bill.


Forcing people to buy insurance is no more the answer to a failed health care system than forcing people to buy houses is the solution to homelessness.

:dem:

-Laelth
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liberal N proud Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-21-09 07:24 AM
Response to Reply #4
7. You need to go back and listen to things he said
And read his book.

He knew you couldn't get it all done in one pass but you take what you could when you can.
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Laelth Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-21-09 07:38 AM
Response to Reply #7
9. I don't want to list that things I think you need to do.
:)

I could be wrong about Kennedy, of course, but if he did support a bill that prevented states from enacting single-payer systems, I would be saddened and disappointed.

There's no way to know, now.

Kill the bill.


Forcing people to buy insurance is no more the answer to a failed health care system than forcing people to buy houses is the solution to homelessness.

:dem:

-Laelth
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Clio the Leo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-21-09 08:27 AM
Response to Original message
10. Durbin said he was going to start calling this "Teddycare." NT
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