Kennedys’ Secret Health Care Plan

Kennedy secretly crafts UNIVERSAL health care plan
Turns ’cause of his life’ into ’09 bipartisan bill
Jeffrey H. Birnbaum
Friday, October 24, 2008

Turns ’cause of his life’ into ’09 bipartisan bill
Jeffrey H. Birnbaum
Friday, October 24, 2008

EXCLUSIVE:
From his sickbed, Sen. Edward M. Kennedy has secretly been
orchestrating meetings with lobbyists and lawmakers from both parties to craft legislation that would greet the new president with a plan to provide affordable medical coverage to all Americans, a measure he has called “the cause of my life.”

Mr. Kennedy has been sidelined for months with a dangerous form
of brain cancer. But despite his disheartening medical prognosis -or
maybe because of it – aides and activists say, the Massachusetts
Democrat’s decades-long quest for health care reform may now be
closer to success than ever.

“There is a serious process moving forward and that augurs well,”
said Ron Pollack, executive director of Families USA, a nonprofit
health care advocacy group. “There really is a sea change that should
not be underestimated in terms of attitude.”

Among those who are receptive to a bipartisan plan and who have
participated in the initial talks is Sen. Michael B. Enzi of Wyoming,
the ranking Republican on the Senate health committee, which
Mr. Kennedy leads.

Mr. Kennedy’s goal, his aides say, is to introduce a universal health
care bill as soon as the new Congress convenes next year and to push
quickly for its passage – a much-accelerated timetable compared with
the last time that a health care overhaul was on the agenda, at the start of the Clinton administration.

“Senator Kennedy has spent the last several weeks laying the groundwork for reform so that we can be ready to go in 2009,” said
his spokesman Anthony Coley. “This is and has been the cause of Senator Kennedy’s life.”

He also hopes the bill’s fortunes will be helped by the extensive private
consultations between his staff and major players in the health care system. His aides have met with representatives of business groups, labor unions, consumer organizations, insurers, physicians, drug companies and hospitals.

Mr. Kennedy’s goal, his aides say, is to introduce UNIVERSAL HEALTH
CARE BILL as soon as the new Congress convenes next year and to
push quickly for its passage – a much-accelerated timetable compared with the last time that a health care overhaul was on the agenda, at the start of the Clinton administration.

President Clinton’s health care initiative faltered 15 years ago largely because he was unable to gain the support of many of these key factions after constructing a plan that kept many Congress members
in the dark for months.

While Mr. Kennedy is shooting for universal coverage, the two men running for president – John McCain and Mr. Obama – have their own plans that many analysts say fall short of that goal. An Obama Senate aide sat in on many of the early Kennedy meetings; no McCain aide did.

Mr. Kennedy’s staff has started to meet regularly with a small group of
people representing each facet of industry as well as consumers. Kennedy aides said they have not drafted legislation but probably will
do so soon.

Kennedy aides say that although they were not working with the
Obama campaign on their plan, they also are not considering proposals to which a President Obama would object.

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2008/oct/24/kennedy-secretly-crafts-health-care-plan/

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One Response to “Kennedys’ Secret Health Care Plan”

  1. Patriot Says:

    Why are neo-con fascist so afraid of Americans getting health care? Can you look into the eyes of a dying child and deny them the very care that would save there life? Can you walk by as a dying mother or father must be denied medical care? How can neo-con fascist claim to care about life but dont want to take care of the sick?

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