Kennedy’s legacy and health reform

I’m still on deadline but my 11-year-old son and I rode our bikes across the bridge to see the procession go through the North End  today. (BHN is actually based in kennedyCambridge.)  I was about my son’s age when Robert Kennedy was shot.  

For more, see the Globe special Kennedy section. I covered Kennedy’s Senate committee in the late 1980s. He was a forceful voice on the Hill, even during his rough patch.

 For more on the impact of his death — and life –on the health reform effort see:

The Washington Post 

As Sen. Edward M. Kennedy’s death suddenly quieted the national debate over health-care reform, some Democratic lawmakers suggested Wednesday that the passing of such a prominent advocate for universal health coverage may represent an opportunity to hit the reset button on that issue.

But whether that would improve the odds of passing a health-care bill was much less clear. Leading Republican senators hinted that no Democrat seemed ready to assume Kennedy’s traditional role both in crafting a political compromise and in selling it to the Democratic base.

The Globe:

Hardly a day has gone by in the last several months when some key figure in the health care talks has not invoked Kennedy, recalling aloud that this was his fight, resolving to persist despite mounting obstacles – or fretting about how to move forward without him.

This summer, as the Senate missed deadlines and negotiations slid off course, and as conservative anger exploded in town hall meetings across the country, unanswerable questions hovered. Would Kennedy have found a way to bring a bill to the floor earlier, when goodwill toward the new president was stronger?

Kaiser Health News offers a roundup

Today’s news: Speculation begins regarding the impact Sen. Kennedy’s death will have on the health reform debate and the Democrat’s prospects for success. 


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