Ted Kennedy's Final Days
The New York Times recounts Senator Ted Kennedy's final days and how he coped with his illness. It's both sad and inspirational.
President Obama has issued an executive order that flags be flown at half-mast until Sunday.
What's next? Sen. Kennedy will lie in repose Thursday and Friday at the JFK presidential library. His funeral will be Saturday at Our Lady of Perpetual Help in Boston. President Obama will deliver a eulogy. He will then be buried at Arlington next to his brothers.
And after that? Democrats are hoping his legacy will spur support for the health care reform bill. Will the Dems rename the Health Care after him? If they do, I hope it's one that includes the principles he fought for. And that means a strong public option. Here's the letter he and Chris Dodd wrote to Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee. [More..]
Like the President and a strong majority of Americans, we believe that a strong public option is an important component of any health reform bill that keeps costs down, expands coverage, and offers American families a wide variety of affordable options. Backed by the government for the public good, not private profit, our public option – called the Community Health Insurance Option – will be a strong, effective national plan that provides Americans with a real alternative to traditional, for-profit insurance.
Here’s how it works:
- Our public option will be a national plan, available in each state and territory and administered by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, which will negotiate rates and premiums.
- Like private insurance plans, it will be available through the Health Insurance Gateway. Enrollees will be entitled to the same tax credits as those enrolled in the private plans available through the Gateway.
- And, of course, participation in the public option will be just that – an option for American consumers who will be able to decide what plan is best for their families.
For the 47 million Americans currently living without health insurance, a public option will represent an opportunity to access quality, affordable care. For those who have insurance but still struggle to get the care they and their families need, the healthy competition provided by our proposal will offer a wider variety of options while keeping costs down.
And for the many Americans who have good coverage, nothing will change. They will still be able to keep their doctor, their hospital, and their insurance plan. What our proposal offers these families is stability – no longer will Americans with good health care have to worry about losing everything if they lose or change their job, or if someone in their family becomes sick or injured.
...a strong public option isn’t just what Americans want – it’s what America needs.
Ted Kennedy's goal was universal health care. We're not going to get that, but if we rename the bill after him, it should come as close as possible to his aspirations, and that means the public option must be included.
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