Health care reform as a tribute to Edward Moore Kennedy?

The republic is better off because of the service of Sen. Ted Kennedy, whose signature graced every significant piece of liberal legislation over the last 40 years. (Yes, I used the “L” word. Kennedy never shrank from it.)

He pushed for the Americans with Disabilities Act, which is now so much a mainstream part of the culture that we take it for granted that persons in wheelchairs should have access to public buildings. He pushed for Title IX, which gave female athletes increased access to college scholarships. We now take that for granted, too.

But his signature legislation was always health care; he started pushing for increased access to health care in the 1960s.

Kennedy had significant flaws, of course. He was a drinker and a womanizer. He never publicly took responsibility for the death of Mary Jo Kopechne in the way that he should have (a death that was probably related to drinking and womanizing.) He paid for her death with the loss of his presidential hopes.

Still, he bore tragedy — the assassinations of two brothers, the death of beloved nephew John Jr. — better than most, using his brothers’ deaths to refocus his service in the Senate. And his biggest accomplishment may be yet to come. Because he had so many friends in the Senate, Democrats and Republicans, it is quite possible that the Senate will find a way to pass significant health care reform legislation as a tribute to Kennedy.

106 comments Add your comment

Buster

August 26th, 2009
10:00 am

I don’t think Ted Kennedy’s death is going to be what gets it done.

El Jefe

August 26th, 2009
10:15 am

The number of Blog entries says volumes about Ms. Tucker -

Why would a federal reform that negatively impacts the vast majority of people be considered a tribute to a Kennedy?

Only two federal programs actually worked.

The industrial build up for WWII and the Apollo project.

That is it. Everything else the Congress sticks their hands into is nothing but a drain on the economy.

Wayne Peltier

August 26th, 2009
10:26 am

His life and service should inspire us to find a compromise that will move the senate forward on heath care reform. Perhaps the president will offer a compromise on the capping of medical malpractice judgements. Conservative senators ask for a plan that can pay for itself. Also there is the larger problem of recruiting our brightest scholars to invest in a medical education. There must be economic incentive to move forward.

El Jefe

August 26th, 2009
10:47 am

Wayne Peltier,

Take away the incentive to earn a decent living and no one will want to be a Doctor. nationalizing the health care industry will do just that.

We need tax deductions for the cost of health insurance and tort reform to cap the awards handed out in malpractice suits.

We need the states to allow buying of insurance across state lines/

We need the states to enact grouping of the uninsured to negotiate group rates.

We need the system to be purely voluntary, no forced enrollments. Ask yourself, why would Bill Gates or Warren Buffet need health insurance?

We need insurance potability.

We do not need a government monopoly running the health care system, we have plenty of competition, but the states limit who and to what extent they can compete within the state.

We do not need another 2-4 trillion dollars added to the 9 trillion already posted as the deficit.

RealityKing

August 26th, 2009
10:48 am

“He paid for her death with the loss of his presidential hopes.”???

Progressive rationalization of manslaughter.., priceless.

maxine arrington

August 26th, 2009
10:48 am

Ms. Tucker,I vehemently concur; continue to “.cry loud and spare not”.

RealityKing

August 26th, 2009
10:50 am

Surely “greater than thou” Ted is now looking to opt out of Hell too..

Just because

August 26th, 2009
10:51 am

The health care system did not get to the place it is at overnight . . . so NO ONE should expect a solution overnight! First and foremost tweak the current system before embarking on an all-out plan that does nothing but for a small percentage of the population and one that will cost the taxpayers an arm and a leg (literally)!

Sean

August 26th, 2009
10:52 am

Republicans want health care reform to fail because they want Obama to fail. They will do anything to stop health care reform, including scaring old ladies half to death with fantastic lies. Why? Because they don’t want Obama to be the one to pass it. They want Romney to pass it in 2012. That’s their dream. (Make no mistake. Health care reform is inevitable. If costs continue to rise at the current rate, no one will be able to afford health care.)
Republicans used the same scare tactics (socialism, death panels, etc.) when the democrats were pushing for the creation of social security. They failed. social security passed and was, is, wildly popular. Democrats were able to bash republicans for years over their opposition to social security. Republicans don’t want that to happen again. That’s why they are pulling out all the stops. The question is, will it work, or will their disgusting behavior eventually turn the public against them?

maxine arrington

August 26th, 2009
10:54 am

Ms.Tucker, I vehemently concur; continue to ”.cry loud and spare not”. Much success.

El Jefe

August 26th, 2009
11:02 am

Question Boldly – oops no questions about Ted allowed
Seek the truth – ditto
Speak fearlessly – rant all you want, unless you are a conservative

Carter is a Fool

August 26th, 2009
11:16 am

No, a thousand times NO. Would it not be more fitting to have a good bill in memory of Mary Jo instead of this drunken murderer.

Pat Phelps

August 26th, 2009
11:19 am

Dear God…I pray you are wrong. To pass anything in this man’s name is a joke. He is a murderer, plain and simple. He should have been in jail not in the Senate.

Ron

August 26th, 2009
11:22 am

I think Ted Kennedy should have been asked if he would be willing to have his name included in the TITLE of any health care reform in its current form(s). I think something with a more likely success would be a real lasting tribute. However, who could argue the point considering how hard he has worked for such a plan?

Wayne Peltier

August 26th, 2009
11:24 am

I want my insurance to be portable and affordable. I would like to be able to stay with my private insurer when I retire. I do not have that right now.

Real

August 26th, 2009
11:27 am

“…it is quite possible that the Senate will find a way to pass significant health care reform legislation as a tribute to Kennedy.”

As usual, spoken from a subjective rather than an objective and rational viewpoint!!!!

Note that I posted this concern on Jay’s blog — see below –

Real

August 26th, 2009
8:39 am
An extreme liberal legacy including refusal to acknowledge the one key descriptive point about the illegal immigrants — they are here illegally, i.e., they are criminals!!!

On the postive (or negative) side — one can see PresBO, Pelosi and company will now push for Obamacare under the guise of “let’s do it for Ted” (shoot – let’s even now name it “TedCare”)!!

Robyn

August 26th, 2009
11:31 am

If any kind of liberal health care reform is passed into law, name the section on alcoholism after Teddy.

Peadawg

August 26th, 2009
11:31 am

Why should anything be a tribute to a murderer?

Kristin

August 26th, 2009
11:37 am

Yeah, that’s a great reason to pass legislation that directly affects the life and death of every American…to pay tribute to someone. Idiot.

Wayne Peltier

August 26th, 2009
11:41 am

Why can’t we as a moral people take the high ground? It is easy to judge the illegal alien. It is hard to treat him as a fellow human being. So the world is watching us and asking how moral are these people. Should the senate not incorporate these concerns into a new treaty with Mexico? Can’t our senators talk to their senators. The costs must be shared. There can be no other moral solution.

Sting 'em Buzz

August 26th, 2009
11:45 am

Rename a certain lake after him.

Mac

August 26th, 2009
11:56 am

Wayne, dude, you’re making too much sense. Partisan and international cooperation to achieve a solution for the common good? Pfft. Never gonna happen, crackhead.

BigJake

August 26th, 2009
12:00 pm

To honor the life of this spoiled, unrepentant murderer is a joke. With no regard to party politics, but simply a comment on one human being’s rise to power amid the scandals that he himself perpetuated, I find it appalling that anyone would regard this man in any positive light whatsoever. Any tribute to him would demonstrate the ability to ignore all of the facts of the crimes he has committed and through influence of his family, he has evaded all his life. I trust he packed a cooling fan for his journey.

Turd Ferguson

August 26th, 2009
12:10 pm

The drunken irresponsbile murderer is no more. Thank you God!

Gone off the Deep End

August 26th, 2009
12:11 pm

You can dress this healthcare up with a pig (Kennedy) and it will still look like a pig.

DK

August 26th, 2009
12:19 pm

HECK NO! You forgot to mention his amnesty bill in the ’80’s, that worked well! Since Kennedy has been in office, the Fed has grown by astronomical numbers and have taken away more of our personal freedoms then any other period of time.

Question- When Kennedy was diagnosed and had his surgery within a couple of weeks last summer, under Obama Care, would he have had the surgery that fast or would had he been given a “pill” (from O’s townhall”?

Cheers,
DK

El Jefe

August 26th, 2009
12:21 pm

DK, don’t forget Congress and the privileged are exempt from ObamaCare – good for us, but not for them.

R Cagle

August 26th, 2009
12:25 pm

Ms. Tucker

Mary Jo Kopechne paid for Ted Kennedy’s presidential hopes with the loss of her life, not the other away around as you suggest. He fled the scene. He enlisted others to concoct a story in order gain sympathy and minimize the impact to his presidential hopes. He got to live another 40 years and bask in the glory of people willing to rationalize away his criminal behavior simply because he was a Kennedy. Mary Jo Koepechne was accorded the honor of drowning in order to protect yet another Kennedy from damage to his public image. You make it sound as if it were just another one of those adolescent “drinking and womanizing” escapades for which those Kennedy boys are famous. One would think a woman would recognize him for what he really was. Perhaps you should talk with his first wife. She also paid a price for getting mixed up with the Kennedy’s.

Bud Wiser

August 26th, 2009
12:25 pm

Kennedy had significant flaws, of course. He was a drinker and a womanizer. He never publicly took responsibility for the death of Mary Jo Kopechne in the way that he should have (a death that was probably related to drinking and womanizing.) He paid for her death with the loss of his presidential hopes.

What do you think Mary Jo’s family thought about the “price’ Kennedy paid?

Most murderers do jail time, unless its a high profile racial case (OJ), or a rich boy’s daddy with political connections.

Even as a liberal, you should hang your head in shame at even the thought of ‘memorializing’ a murderer; but liberals never apologize or feel shame about anything or anyone…..that’s part of making them what they are.

At least now we can enjoy the fact that Teddy screwed up replacing his seat with another lapdog democrat, by changing the laws in Mass. in 2004, because he and his cronies just knew Mitt Romney (Gov at the time) would appoint a Republican to fill it, so now it has to be filled by an election instead.

Isn’t irony ironic?

I LMAO at the way you libs always think you’re getting away with something when in fact you’re just shooting yourself in the foot, again.

RealityKing

August 26th, 2009
12:26 pm

Clearly Ted’s greatest accomplishment is in his death. An fine example of an untimely death..

Rickster

August 26th, 2009
12:28 pm

Ted Kennedy denied Mary Jo Kopechne the life-saving health care this legislation would now deny many of us.

He may have been the “Liberal Lion” of the Senate… but he should not be lionized.

Pandora

August 26th, 2009
12:28 pm

I agree with Ms. Tucker on this one. Ignorance is the ONLY reason why people in this country are afraid of a change. The health care reform that President Obama is trying to pass is good for everyone. In Canada and other countries they have this…actually theirs is better. They have free health and dental care for everyone. The Republican Party is just trying to stir up ignorant people to believe that it’s a bad thing…think about it ANY AND EVERYTHING President Obama is for they are against. They could care less about anyone. We all should support President Obama and what he is trying to do. He is very concerned about the American Citizens getting the best health care.

El Jefe

August 26th, 2009
12:32 pm

Most liberal will be shocked that Ted Kennedy was not held in high regard by most folks.

There are not a lot of people that like his “No Child Left Behind” bill, championed by Pres. Bush.

His McCain-Kennedy amesty bill was shot down in flames.

He was just another highly ineffective Senator, sitting in a legacy seat.

A dad

August 26th, 2009
12:32 pm

Gee, poor Teddy paid for Mary Jo’s death by giving up his presidential aspirations. How terrible. Funny thing though. Most poeple I hear about who bring about another’s death usually end up in prison. Of course liberals like Ms. Tucker can always find a way to rationalte their viewpoint, no matter how absurd.
Pandora – what are you basing your comment that Canada and other’s countries socialist government run health care is better; ABC, NBC, CBS or CNN? I take it you don’t actually KNOW anyone from Canada or those other countries to have engaged them in discussions about their “better” healthcare. Nah, didn’t think so.

joe matarotz

August 26th, 2009
12:41 pm

A bum passed away. What better reason to pass a piece of legislation that will affect the whole nation? Cynthia, if you were paid to think, you would owe the company money.
I will honor Teddy tonight when I clean up after my dog. I will definitely be thinking of him at that moment.

dave

August 26th, 2009
12:44 pm

He paid for her death with the loss of his presidential hopes. – You keep outdoing yourself Ms. Tucker, I guess we could say the same about OJ?

R Cagle

August 26th, 2009
12:46 pm

Pandora,

Generally if you don’t agree with someone, and this someone has the potential of negatively affecting your life, then you oppose them. Did you agree with everything President Bush did? Did you speak up when you didn’t? Are you capable of independent thought? Did you need the Democrats to rouse you up from your igorance and scare you to action? What makes you think you are special because you agree with Obama and those who don’t are ignorant?

Ivan

August 26th, 2009
12:47 pm

Right.

After the “independents” are already bailing on Obama and congress after multiple bailouts, bigger government, higher taxes, and other far left liberal extremist visions, they’re going to name their massive health care overhaul after a…..umm….far left liberal extremist…..Awesome idea!!

El Jefe

August 26th, 2009
12:50 pm

dave,

You think Cynthia reads her own blog? Get real, she is crying her eyes out over Kennedy – to distraught to think clearly – oh, wait – thats normal – my mistake.

Wayne Peltier

August 26th, 2009
12:52 pm

Ted, it’s time to apologize to Mary Jo. Well, you have eternity – don’t be shy.

Mr. President, how will history judge the rest of us?

Mac, dude, Thanks.

Vinny

August 26th, 2009
12:53 pm

Good one Joe Matarotz – You pegged Cynthia on that one to a tee.

Gee, I have to go to the bathroom now and go take a Ted Kennedy.

Jake

August 26th, 2009
12:53 pm

Pandora – Please help everyone in America get that ‘free’ medical and dental care. Does anyone pay anthing at all or is it all just free like air up there in Canada?

Pat Phelps

August 26th, 2009
12:56 pm

Pandora…you are the poster child for why the government should not be involved in health care. The insurance is not free. I, along with most of my neighbors, will be picking up the health care tab for you.

Vinny

August 26th, 2009
12:57 pm

Oh, it’s “Lion of the Senate”. Stupid me, all this time I thought he was referred to as the “Lyin’ of the Senate”…

Turd Ferguson

August 26th, 2009
1:00 pm

“He paid for her death with the loss of his presidential hopes.”

And that is supposed to diminish his transgressions? Mary Jo of no he wouldve made a crappy President, even more so than the Crusader Bobby, if one can believe that.

Stupid Bobby went after the very crowd that helped get brother Jack elected. In so many words…Bobby killed Jack.

Turd Ferguson

August 26th, 2009
1:02 pm

Pandora.

Wow…did you play that tape over and over in your sleep until you memorized it?

“They have free health and dental care for everyone”

You either very naive or very stupid. Everything has a cost behind it…wake up little girl.

atlpaddy

August 26th, 2009
1:02 pm

I see that the angry extremist right wingers are out in full force today. How many of you are self-described Christians again?

Jack

August 26th, 2009
1:05 pm

Tucker didn’t write this tripe overnight. It’s been sitting somewhere in her computer waiting for Kennedy to die.

how you doing in HADES, Teddy?

August 26th, 2009
1:06 pm

this version of health care “reform” belongs in the grave with Kennedy. may it rest in his cold, dead hands.

extremerightwing

August 26th, 2009
1:07 pm

Kennedy’s defense in not contacting authorities for 10 HOURS after Marj Jo’s death was that he was tired after “trying to rescue her”. What joke. The man should have been tried for manslaughter. Guess it goes to show that with enough money you can get out of anything.

I wonder how Kennedy would have fared if Obamacare had been passed earlier this year. I can hear the conversation…”I’m sorry Senator, but we are unable to continue treating your ailment. You see, sir, you are 77 years old. You do not have many quality years of life remaining. We’ll make you as comfortable as possible.”

Yeah, like that would happen. Kennedy used every available means to stay alive as we all would. He would have had the obamocrat fired who tried to have that conversation with him which would have gone something like this….”Don’t you know who I am?? I am the lion of the Senate…now you go find a cure for my problem and don’t bring anymore of that bs about giving me a pain pill!!!!”