Wednesday, August 26, 2009

RIP Teddy

Whatever my opinion of Ted Kennedy's political history, I am saddened by this news. I have had a family member die of the same kind of cancer and know how terrible it must have been for him and his family. My heart goes out to them.

I think the best memorial we can offer to this man, respecting his political service and offering amends for any political follies, is to enact, in its own right and without any other riders, exceptions, additions and/or emendations, his Medicare for All Act.




Elise said...

I'm a little confused. Based on some quick research, it looks to me like "Medicare For All" is considered synonymous with single-payer and the Kennedy bill does establish a universal government health "insurance" program like Medicare. However, it looks to me like the Kennedy bill also allows people to enroll in private health insurance plans and (under paragraph 2204(d)) will pay some of the cost of that enrollment by diverting funds from the government system.

That looks to me like a system under which taxes go to fund a single-payer system but those funds can be applied instead to health insurance purchased from private insurance companies. That is, private health insurance is not just supplemental to the government plan but may be chosen instead of the government plan. Am I reading this wrong?

Marsha said...

In today's NY Times an article about Kennedy quotes author Robert Caro saying: “Ted Kennedy was a senator out of another, very different, Senate era: an era in which senators who believed in great causes stood at their desks, year after year and decade after decade, fighting for those causes, and educating the country about them,” Mr. Caro said.

It struck me how far we have fallen in terms of discourse, issues and debates.

Holding out for your principles in the past got you called a partisan - and while some people used that term with derision – you could at least trust your partisan politician to stay true to the cause, the issue, and the policy.

No more. Today partisan politicians (our whole system!) use their bully pulpits for the benefit of the wealthy who pay to put them into office. Partisanship is rewarded not with benefits for The People, but for the deepest back pocket into which a politician can cram his or her whole being.

I don’t know how I feel about Ted Kennedy. I know he had a strong (literally) voice that he used for good purpose – at times. But the compromises that he made in later years, especially in his support of Barack Obama makes me think that he had changed with the times, and not for the better.

Masslib has a diary over at Alegre’s Corner ( that talks about how the media has to have two sides on every issue and how maybe single-payer advocates should be more vocal so that we become the “other side” pitted against the Blue Dogs…at least the message would get out there and the Republicans can be ignored (as much as possible, please!).

It dawned on me – again - the influence the media wields in always dumbing-down an issue to two sides arguing against each other to make a story. In that scenario, even a reasonable argument will be cast as bad/stupid/Socialist/evil and the side that shouts the loudest in the media will win.

Great! How in the world will this Nation ever get itself straight?

Teresa said...

I get a little tired the people who are born on third base being deified for scoring the home run. Where would they be if they'd started out riding the bench in the dugout?

I am more interested in the work of the "little people" who make the cogs of our country work, who change people's lives every day. Their heroism is my deity.

And their reward should be that healthcare becomes a right rather than a privilege of the relative wealthy.