Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Ted Kennedy on Universal Health Care

The following arrived in my email this morning. As a way to honor Senator Kennedy, and inspire any and all who wonder longer about passing a bill for Universal Health coverage, I offer his words and own story in the following post. Ted Kennedy is a privileged, fully-covered member of Congress. I wonder how this vote might take a turn if our senators knew first hand, in their own bodies and through their own bank books, what health care costs? (Hats off to Senator Brown from Ohio who declines this coverage until everyone in his home state gets it.)

This is the cause of my life. It is a key reason that I defied my illness last summer to speak at the Democratic convention in Denver—to support Barack Obama, but also to make sure, as I said, "that we will break the old gridlock and guarantee that every American...will have decent, quality health care as a fundamental right and not just a privilege." For four decades I have carried this cause—from the floor of the United States Senate to every part of this country. It has never been merely a question of policy; it goes to the heart of my belief in a just society. Now the issue has more meaning for me—and more urgency—than ever before. But it's always been deeply personal, because the importance of health care has been a recurrent lesson throughout most of my 77 years.

— Ted Kennedy

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