Replacing This Fallen Hero
Sen. Kennedy believed that government should help the disadvantaged. From civil rights to welfare reform, he used his political skills to fulfill that vision. Health care was an important part of his life. His personal family experiences were tragic--the murders of his brothers, his father's devastating stroke, his near-death experience in a plane crash, and his children's battle with cancer. His home state of Massachusetts has some of the nation's best academic medical centers and its first universal coverage experiment.
With this perspective and his passion for the underdog, Ted Kennedy was a champion for health reform. Unfortunately, as the debate became fierce, he was losing his battle with cancer. Unlike his brothers, who died suddenly, he could plan his final days. I am sure he used that personal time wisely.
Ted Kennedy's declining health, not his death, has already exerted major influence in health reform. We will never know how the "Lion of the Senate" would have solved this controversial issue. With a healthy Ted Kennedy, health reform would have had a powerful advocate, capable of engineering a solution. Instead, we are stuck in the quagmire of a political deadlock..
America should remember Sen. Kennedy as one of the last of a vanishing breed--a politician with vision, unwavering principles and the courage and skill to put them into action.
Now, we must all hope that other champions will step forward to carry the banner of this heroic public servant.
Posted by: jke1 | September 1, 2009 9:26 AM
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