The Lion Roars! Kennedy Health-Care Plan Has Public Option

(9 am. – promoted by ek hornbeck)

Thank God or the Goddess for Teddy Kennedy!  He has done so much for America over his lifetime, and even in sickness, the “Lion of the Senate” is roaring again:

May 29 (Bloomberg) — Senator Edward Kennedy, chairman of one of two Senate panels drafting health-care overhaul plans, said he will include a government-run program to compete with private insurers in a measure to be considered in mid-June, asserting his role in the emerging debate despite his battle with brain cancer.


“An important foundation of our legislation is the following principle: If you like the coverage you have now, you keep it,” Kennedy wrote in an op-ed article in the Boston Globe. “But if you don’t have health insurance or don’t like the insurance you have, our bill will give you new, more affordable options.”


A small snippet from Senator Kennedy’s column yesterday in the Boston Globe.

Our proposal establishes new gateways to better health across America. You can contact the gateways online, by phone, or in person to figure out what policy works for you. Through the gateway, we will facilitate choice by allowing consumers to compare the costs and benefits of different health insurance policies. We’ll negotiate with insurance companies to keep premiums and copays low and help you with your premiums if you can’t afford them. We’ll make it illegal for insurers to deny coverage because of a preexisting condition or to impose other restrictions that keep you from getting the care you need. We’re also hearing that some Americans want the choice of enrolling in a health insurance program backed by the government for the public good, not private profit – so that option will be available too.


Change is never easy, but the status quo is no longer acceptable to any except those who profit from the current broken healthcare system.

We cannot afford to wait – or to fail. And we will do neither.

And when successful reform takes hold, the American people will wonder what has taken us so long.

Health bill would fix what’s broken, By Edward M. Kennedy in the Boston Globe

Senator Kennedy has long fought for universal health care.  His comments in his speech to the 1980 Democratic National Convention are as relevant today as then:

Finally, we cannot have a fair prosperity in isolation from a fair society. So I will continue to stand for a national health insurance. We must — We must not surrender — We must not surrender to the relentless medical inflation that can bankrupt almost anyone and that may soon break the budgets of government at every level. Let us insist on real controls over what doctors and hospitals can charge, and let us resolve that the state of a family’s health shall never depend on the size of a family’s wealth.

The President, the Vice President, the members of Congress have a medical plan that meets their needs in full, and whenever senators and representatives catch a little cold, the Capitol physician will see them immediately, treat them promptly, fill a prescription on the spot. We do not get a bill even if we ask for it, and when do you think was the last time a member of Congress asked for a bill from the Federal Government? And I say again, as I have before, if health insurance is good enough for the President, the Vice President, the Congress of the United States, then it’s good enough for you and every family in America.

1980 Democratic National Convention Address

President Obama yesterday said that it’s now or never:

So we need healthcare reform legislation that works, that preserves what works about healthcare, but fixes the things that are broken. And I think the status quo is unacceptable and that we’ve got to get it done this year. If we don’t get it done this year we’re not going to get it done. And to do that we’re going to need all of you to mobilize. We’ve got to have you knocking on doors, making calls, educating your neighbors. I truly believe that with your help we can reduce costs for families, businesses and government. We can protect people’s choice of doctors and hospitals and health plans and we can assure affordable, quality, health insurance for all Americans. This is our big chance to prove that the movement that you started during the campaign isn’t over, we’re just getting started.

President Obama Remarks, quoted on The Swamp: Obama: Healthcare reform now or never  

Here’s the best part of the Kennedy Plan:

Kennedy’s plan may go further than a proposal being drafted by Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus. Baucus, a Montana Democrat, has said he is still weighing whether to include a government-run program in a measure and, if so, how it might be structured to attract Republican votes and industry support.


Thank you Senator Kennedy

Also in Orange:…


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    • TomP on May 29, 2009 at 17:25

    for Kennedy and a public option that could be a road to single payer.  

  1. before Kennedy’s plan gets hijacked before it’s out of the gate. The latest salvo is coming … in time for activists to possibly shut it down.

    The SEIU and Dr. Howard Dean’s Democracy for America have joined forces to halt a “documentary” by Rick Scott from airing on NBC after Meet the Press. (The links here take you to additional detail and submission forms destined for NBC asking them to halt its plans to air the infomercial.)

    According to the SEIU’s web site, the allies are asking their allies to ask NBC the following:

    This Sunday, following Meet the Press, a 30-minute advertisement attacking health care reform is set to air on NBC in Washington, DC. The ad is by former hospital CEO Rick Scott and his group “Conservatives for Patients’ Rights.”

    … snip …

    Based on excerpts from their website, potential significant errors and falsehoods make this ad unfit to air.  In the public interest, you should closely review the ad and cease plans on airing it immediately.

    My first 23 years were lived in Massachusetts, so I’m well aware of Sen. Kennedy’s tireless efforts to reform healthcare for all. He deserves a chance to get this done. Let’s help him by contacting NBC and asking them to spread fact not propaganda.

    If you have an even more active interest in this effort, some contact information is located in this dKos diary by slinkerwink.

  2. this is as likely to occur as a virgin birth..  I guess we gotta phonebomb our representatives to show them that they can either have a government job or a corporate job, not both.

    Ugh..  can’t wait to call that bastard arlen specter.  Whos gonna mobalize the phone calling?  ect?  The only way this gets passed is if we shout so loud that the only voices our representatives hear is us.  

    So who will step forward?  I mean i can prob help in some ways but first we need to organize.  So who will lead it?  I can donate time and money but i am no leader.

  3. I don’t think the ‘little people’ – and by that I mean ordinary citizens – can succeed in stopping the insurance/pharmaceutical/etc complex from accomplishing their goals – in the absence of Ted Kennedy.

    See, e.g. the fabricated ‘juggernaut’ of opinion they are trying to sway by a ‘docudrama’ that admittedly does not even address a the kind of public plan proposed but creates a false straw man…

    I’d missed this bit of good news, which gave me hope – and I thank you for posting it!

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