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The Lion, The Witch and The Boston Globe June 10, 2009


However different the Kennedy brothers may have been, after the assassination of President John F. Kennedy in 1963, followed by that of Robert Kennedy in 1968, Ted Kennedy carried with him the unfortunate burden of following in his brothers’ footsteps -like it or not. To do justice to their memory, Ted could not fail. This is especially true of his bid for the White House. Virtually every Democrat was for Kennedy beating the heck out of Jimmy Cater for the 1980 Democratic nomination. All of Ted’s accomplishments and failings meant nothing to my mother. He was a Kennedy and that was all that mattered to her. This was already evident in her defense of him in the Chappaquiddick incident. “He must not give up the fight for the nomination.” mother said. “Chappaquiddick is a bunch of lies. Why can’t they stop bringing it up?”
The media and Jimmy Carter failed to listen to my mother’s advice. Ted Kennedy lost the Democratic nomination to incumbent President Jimmy Carter. Mother was angry thus the beginning of Jimmy Carter mockery. Jimmy and “Billy Bear”, peanuts etc, etc.

A child photo of Sen, Ted Kennedy (D-MA) in which he attends the changing of the guard at Buckingham Palace with his father Joseph P. Kennedy

A child photo of Sen, Ted Kennedy (D-MA) in which he attends the changing of the guard at Buckingham Palace with his father Joseph P. Kennedy

It was not until much later that I read about Ted Kennedy and the Chappaquiddick incident. I concluded for myself that it was not “a bunch of lies” . Ted seemed to be negligent to say the least. My mother still believed the contrary, I gave up on convincing her otherwise. She went to her death praising the Kennedy’s and I will someday go to mine doubting their ethical responsibility to society -particularly women.

There seems to be some sort of societal need to have the Kennedy’s around, perhaps they are America’s royalty. With Ted now stricken with brain cancer, and Caroline Kennedy Schlossberg failure to gain a New York Senate seat,  Americans are finally witnessing the beginning of the end of the Kennedy era.  “Last Lion: The Fall and Rise of Ted Kennedy,” is a recently published biography of Ted Kennedy’s life as told by reporters from the Boston Globe. The publisher is in fact the Boston Globe which is somewhat interesting as the New York Times is looking to sell the publication and cut production. They are currently requesting bids for the paper which was founded in 1872. Again it is all rather intriguing Senator Ted Kennedy is winding down over 40 year career  and the Boston Globe in a sense is closing an era as well.

Papers may come and go, but Kennedy’s never really die. Ted is now an ardent supporter of universal health care and an active participant in President Obama’s current health care proposal. The ailing Ted Kennedy supposedly authored the plan which was just released on Tuesday.

The American Spectator

Kennedy Health Care Plan Released

By Philip Klein

The health care legislation supported by Democrats on the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, chaired by Ted Kennedy, has now been officially released after being leaked earlier.

I looked through its 615 pages quickly, for some of the main features of the plan, and here are the highlights:

–A requirement that insurers cover everybody who applies for coverage, regardless of health status or preexisting conditions along with community rating so that everybody gets charged the same price for coverage with some wiggle room when it comes to age (but the rate differential is still capped at 2:1).

–A mandate forcing individuals to purchase health insurance.

— An expansion of Medicaid eligibility, and subsidies to purchase health care on an insurance exchange.

–Instead of a single national exchange, it will provide funding for states to start their own exchanges, called “gateways,” which will offer a public option.

–Measures to reduce costs through the use of information technology and improved preventive care.

While I intend to take some more time to look at the specifics, at first blush, this unsurprisingly is a very liberal proposal. While it promotes itself as the “Affordable Health Choices Act” the reality is much different. It certainly wouldn’t be affordable to taxpayers, and the choices offered would be limited to what would be deemed “qualified plans” by the government

Ted should be sin taxed for those donuts

Ted should be sin taxed for those donuts

I have yet not read the full bill in detail. Apparently it is devoid of the more “controversial” topics such as the employer mandate and the public health insurance option. Due to his ongoing illness, Senator Kennedy’s role as chair of the Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee is being handled by Senator Chris Dodd (D-CT). That does not make me really comfortable with anything that is taking place. I am not crazy about paying taxing on my health care benefits especially when I am being taxed to death on my purchases. I do not want a system where the government decides who gets care and who does not, especially if that care is considered “preventative”.

We shall see how this develops and how many Democrats Obama can rally to his side. Being a former child on welfare, I am familiar with government health care. It sucks and the doctors spent a lot of time making you feel like a second class citizen. There were no follow up calls  or friendly bedside manner. I can recall clearly being shocked that my gynecologist personally called to inform me of the results of my pap smear. That never happened to me until I worked and had my own health insurance.

On a lighter note, please do stop by the Boston Globe for their online Ted Kennedy retrospective series. Love him or hate him, the pictures and video commentary are worth a look.

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