Expect a sincere effort to memorialize Senator Edward Kennedy by naming an eventual health care act after him. It would be exceedingly appropriate unless the bill is not substantive reform. In that case it would become a heartbreaking false tribute.
Senator Kennedy believed fully in the power of government to do good. A bill devoid of a robust public option would not honor the history of his effort to advance health care reform.
Senator Kennedy cared deeply about those without voice and means. An act not extending a generous and caring hand to the poor and disenfranchised could not in good conscious carry his name.
Senator Kennedy believed that affordable health care for people with average resources was essential. Legislation that allows medical impoverishment and bankruptcy to persist would not respect his memory.
Senator Kennedy believed that health care needed to be portable. A bill not allowing Americans to carry their coverage with them or seamlessly switch to a public plan could not be a tribute to his effort to prevent health care insecurity.
Senator Kennedy believed that health care practices needed reform. Legislation that merely mandates coverage along with minor tax incentives that does not address practices, care quality, better outcomes, and payment restructuring would not reflect his vision.
Ted Kennedy’s moral commitment to health care as a right and not a privilege was exemplary; anything less at this time cannot yet be his legacy.
“…let us resolve that the state of a family's health shall never depend on the size of a family's wealth.” - Senator Edward M. Kennedy