Wednesday, August 26, 2009

RIP Sen. Kennedy: Another Motivation to Fight for Health Care Reform

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I'm terribly sad to learn about the passing of the iconic public servant Senator Edward (Ted) Kennedy last night. I suggest there could be no better tribute to the lion of the Senate than meaningful health care reform.

Senator Kennedy was a determined proponent of health care reform efforts. He believed access to health care is a right to which all American citizens are entitled. In an article for Newsweek magazine published in July he shared the ways in which his notoriety and financial resources had ensured him the highest quality of care throughout his life (The Cause of My Life: The Fight for Universal Health Care). He knew he and his family were lucky to have the access to resources others can only dream about. But rather than being satisfied that his and his loved ones' needs were covered, these experiences inspired him to fight for the right of everyone to have this kind of care.

But quality care shouldn't depend on your financial resources, or the type of job you have, or the medical condition you face. Every American should be able to get the same treatment that U.S. senators are entitled to.

This is the cause of my life. It is a key reason that I defied my illness last summer to speak at the Democratic convention in Denver—to support Barack Obama, but also to make sure, as I said, "that we will break the old gridlock and guarantee that every American…will have decent, quality health care as a fundamental right and not just a privilege." For four decades I have carried this cause—from the floor of the United States Senate to every part of this country. It has never been merely a question of policy; it goes to the heart of my belief in a just society.

Let us remember his fiery passion for this cause when we're tempted to back down or concede in this fight.

Rest in peace, Teddy. You will be missed.

Image courtesy of the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library & Museum.

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You Know You've Been Curious: My Thoughts on Health Care Reform

Health Insurance Contracts Should Be Written in Plain English

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DISCLAIMER: Nothing on this site constitutes medical or legal advice. I am a patient who is engaged and educated and enjoys sharing my experiences and news about migraines, pain and depression. Please consult your own health care providers for advice on your unique situation.