(Senator Ted Kennedy - passing of an era)
Regardless of having known the end would come for some time, hearing the news that Senator Ted Kennedy lost his battle to brain cancer still came with an overwhelming sadness - a true sense of loss. The passing of an era.
So as way of a tribute, here is Ted Kennedy at the National Press Club from January 18, 1972, outlining the priorities for the upcoming session of Congress. As always, Health Care was forefront on his mind.
Ted Kennedy: “If you think we have a (health) system that is working well today, ask the person next to you. Ask a mother who tries to call a doctor after dark. Ask a man who lost is health insurance because he lost his job. Ask a senior citizen whose Medicare has run out. Ask anyone who ever paid a bill or tried to file a Health Insurance claim. Our people will never get fair value for their enormous investment in Health Care, unless we break the strangle hold of the Health Providers and Health Insurance companies. We have a mammoth Health Care crisis because we have a mammoth health care system that works well, but only for the few. It works well for the doctors. It works well for the hospitals. It works well for the insurance industry. It works well for everyone but the sick. And it is the people who pay the price for this enormous profiteering. They have been sold a bill of goods for a system that is marred throughout by high cost and inefficiency, by inconvenience and incompetence. And by implicit or outright fraud. I do not believe that the Congress will be a party to the passage of any Health Insurance bill that maintains such vital flaws. We stand on the threshold of real reform. And 1972 can be the year when we cross that threshold and fulfill at last the promise that health is a basic right for all our citizens, not just an expensive privilege of the few”.
He never quit the fight.