The Republicans have been going around saying, before Ted Kennedy passed, that if "Kennedy was around we would have a deal". Senator Ted Kennedy said this in 1978 about health care:
More than most Americans, I know what it means to have serious illness in the family. My father vas crippled by a stroke and required constant care for years. My son was stricken by cancer, and is well today because of the miracle of American medicine. A decade ago, I myself was hospitalized for several months, my back broken in many places.
Fortunately, our family could afford to pay for all the care we needed. And so the tragedy of serious illness for those we loved was not compounded by the additional tragedy of a heavy financial burden.
Together, we can lift that financial burden from all the families of America. Through national health insurance, we can provide a decent health care system for the benefit of the people of this land. We can make health care a basic right for all, not just an expensive privilege for the few.
But to achieve the reform, we need, we must have genuine leadership by the Democratic Party. We are heirs of a great tradition in American public life. Our party took up the cause of jobs for the unemployed in the Great Depression. Our party took up the cause of civil rights for black and brown Americans, and the cause of equal rights for women in America and the people of the District of Columbia.
In that same tradition of leadership, it is time for the Democratic Party now to take up the cause of health.
Note, we must have LEADERSHIP from the Democratic Party. Well, the Democratic Party has been all over the spectrum for health care, in fact many have taken money and lots of money from the very entity we are fighting with. The final leadership must come from the White House and President Barack Obama must draw his line in the sand. But for the Republicans to just yank Senator Ted Kennedy and his use him for political points is appaling. Ted Kennedy was never on the same page as the likes of Chuck Grassley, John McCain (who really wants to be envisioned as Kennedy Redux, but NOT), and the rest of the gang of GOP. Kennedy was not on their page and for them to even make reference that he was is just outrageous.
It was a letter to the Pope, that was read aloud today that squashed the Republicans noise. It boldly states Kennedy's stand on health care:
I also want you to know that even though I am ill, I'm committed to do everything I can to achieve access to health care for everyone in my country. This has been the political cause of my life.
Health care reform, for damn sure, has not been the cause of the Republican Party or any of its member's lives, the only thing that comes close for them is taking the lobbyist checks and voting their way for blockage of any health care reform.
Let's not get it twisted Republicans, Senator Ted Kennedy has fought for health care for all Americans all his LIFE, for you to try to twist, yank or change his words will be absoulutely the wrong thing to do.