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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.

Autographed Letter Signed,



22 Responses to “The Lion, The Witch and The Boston Globe”

  1. loudmouthjewishbabe Says:

    This is the paper that first broke the now infamous MP expense scandal- and even the Guardian cited it as a reliable source for its coverage of the scandal.

    We have to press the politicians about THEIR personal health care. NO expense is spared with them even in socialized systems. They are spayshel.

    Highly hypocritical coming from windbag Kennedy. How old is he? What is the cost- benefit analysis at play here?

    I’d have to go dig up some article from the Canadian press which I have saved which outlined the spayshel care a liberal MP in Canada received for her cancer treatment . She came HERE!

  2. loudmouthjewishbabe Says:

    Sorry. Working on fumes here. My introduction of the newspaper, The Telegraph, stems from the fact that the Obots (including various Dem congresscriters) refuse to discuss ANY foreign articles about Gvt run health-care. Including the UK Independent, London Times.

    National Health Care Utopia all wrapped up in a big red Michael Moore bow. uh-huh. This is what we are dealing with.

    • afrocity Says:

      You are right LMJB. You have been one of my posters who have opened my eyes as far as the foreign issues are concerned. I have heard about some awful stories out of Canada and the UK.

      • loudmouthjewishbabe Says:

        I’m glad to have performed a worthwhile service. Your blog and life story are important imo for others, including myself, to read as well. So well written.

        I don’t know if I have posted this, but if I have please forgive me. BTW, after last fall, I copy and paste ALL articles so that nothing is mysteriously “lost” online. 😉

        Since this article, I believe patients can pay out of pocket for NHS rejected expensive drugs and NOT be penalized for doing so. (dec 2008). Punishment was being kicked out of the NHS system for all the rest of treatment that pertained to said ailment.

        Not deemed “equal.” So now they have a 2 tier system. But, who can blame patients who are able to pay for expensive drugs? If it were you, wouldn’t you do whatever it took?

        Gvt , even in the UK with extensive taxes, cannot afford the very best and the very latest advances.

  3. bob Says:

    Out this way, over in Oregon, is the story of the man, 53, or 57, can’t recall which, who applied to the state system for chemo for his cancer. He got a letter denying the treatment, but offering to help him commit suicide. They have an assisted suicide law in Oregon.

    Think how much money can be saved by the bureacrats just bumping folks over 50 off! Solves the financing issue with finality. And no Social Security payments. Money saved there, too.

    We are entering what is known as a slippery slope.

    I see Ted has lost a little weight.

  4. loudmouthjewishbabe Says:

    Found the Canadian article with Liberal MP USA treatment, complete with comments. Some knee-jerk Obot types in there, but also some quite revealing.

    Sure she should get her treatment where she can if she is able to pay for it.

    The story here isn’t about those who get treatment in the states. It’s about a liberal politician that is part of a political party that espoused the Canadian public system and vowed to ensure that no private health care was ever going to uspurp the current system. She is an MP for the party that relentlessly attacked the conservatives for their “hidden agenda” to privatize health care.

    The irony and hypocracy is the story here. The rich get health care, the rest of use wait in line. All because of liberal fearmongering that does not allow for a real debate on the state of the health care system in Canada.


    David F.

    9,000 Canadian-trained doctors in the US. Why should we be surprised if some of the patients head there too? It’s time for the Liberal Party to acknowledge the gorilla at the dinner table and work with the Conservatives in a non-partisan way to start thinking about fundamental changes to our health care system. This means either raising taxes to Scandinavian levels, or openly allowing privatization instead of operating in the shadows and slowly cutting services one a a time. Let the NDP scream about zero compromise on socialized medicine, time for the mainstream parties to get a grip on this.

    Author quite careful to espouse party line- trip to US not due to speed and quotes MP spokesperson as having complete faith in the system. [Of course she was on the very TOP of the list, even for the surgeries she did have in Canada, including breast reconstruction.

  5. Marcy Says:

    We used to live close enough to Canada that the CBC was one of the local/regional channels on our cable. I watched their news a lot because they covered a lot of American issues and did so more honestly than our media. They were just starting to talk about allowing a two-tier system then, and I kept wondering why, because they had universal care. Now I know why.

    I want everyone in this country to have the medical care they need, but I know this: I don’t want Barack Obama in charge of what care I get.

    • Marcy Says:

      And Chris Dodd? Chris Dodd, the one with the “cottage” in Ireland that looks like a damn mansion and that he got a sweetheart deal on? The same Chris Dodd who sold us all out in order to help his buddies in the banking industry who were taking care of him like a cherished mistress? We’re supposed to trust that sell-out with our health care system. Yeah, right.

    • loudmouthjewishbabe Says:

      Well, I don’t want any politician in charge of healthcare, not just Obama. I’m sorry if I insult some former backers of HRC, but I’m not a fan of hers, either, *policy* wise, with regards to her 1994 HealthCare overhaul.

      To me, she represents the same ilk as this Liberal MP who came to the US for late stage (often very $$, and not necessarily “cost beneficial”) care, while her constituents cannot for whatever reason. She is a politician, and as such, is of a special status and importance/preference. What makes her life worth more than mine, or anyone else’s?

      The 2 tier system is here to stay- whether in private or gvt provided insurance. Politicians need to be honest about that. LMAO!

      The day some Liberal Dem (“party of the people”) politician altruistically sacrifices his/her health out of respect/make a political statement for the “common man/woman” who cannot pull strings in the system, I’ll eat my hat.

      I used to be a Dem too, once upon a time….

      • afrocity Says:

        …in an America far, far away.

      • Marcy Says:

        All right now. No need to get all harsh with me about being a former Dem. I’ve apologized for that.

        However, the truth is that there are a lot of people in this country who need access to medical care — not insurance, but medical care. Several years ago I was diagnosed with a blood disorder. I won’t bore you with all the details, but I have done quite well and lived several years past the average time people survive this. The stress is unbelievable just hearing such a diagnosis, and I can’t imagine what it is like for people who also have to worry about not having insurance because if you think those doctors and hospitals are going to give you treatment because they care so much, you’re in for a rude awakening. And if you think the private insurers don’t fight you tooth and nail before providing the coverage that you have paid all those exorbitant premiums for all those years, you’d be wrong about that too. And there’s no real effective appeal from their decision not to cover you if they dig their heels in — by the time you can sue them, you’re probably dead.

        The truth is that every aspect of our health care system is broken. And we haven’t even talked about the travesty of the prescription drug companies.

        So, yeah, I would have preferred to depend on Hillary rather than the semi-literate clerk at Ginormous Insurance Company, but when I have to choose between said clerk and Obama, I’ll keep the devil, er clerk, that I know over him.

  6. bob Says:

    We’ve argued this medical situation over at length on a blog I frequent. There are plenty problems with what we have, for sure. But to turn it all over to the government? No.

    I’ve maintained, and still do, that we should start by creating more doctors.

    For instance, the $8 billions of dollars that was targeted to building a super train from LA to Vegas (which we dubbed the Desert Debtor–and I’m not sure what has happened to that proposal–the last I heard Dirty Harry Reid got skunked, and the money is going to Chicago)–would build one heck of a nice medical school and teaching hospital in Boise, Idaho.

    We don’t have a medical school in Idaho, but we have the population to support one now, and we should get it done. And we have the talent here that could make use of it, and go out and do some good in the world.

    I advocate: create more doctors.

    • Marcy Says:

      More doctors would be great, and it would be even better if you could think of a way to get them to go into family practice rather than the higher paying specialties most of them opt for.

      But at the end of the day, if you don’t have insurance or money, they aren’t going to treat you. It may be socialism, but I don’t care what you call it, I believe health care is something every citizen of this country is entitled to; and if our politicians would stop wasting money on stuff like the bit of pork you referenced, we might could pay for it.

  7. bob Says:

    In our state, and I’d bet in yours too, the hospitals are mandated to treat folks in the emergency room. So, people without insurance or the ability to pay go there, and the cost gets spread out to the rest of us. I’m not sure what the perfect answer is. But I know what it is not. It is not having some government guy or gal calling your own medical decisions for you.

  8. loudmouthjewishbabe Says:

    Tort reform would be nice. I continually have to take tests before procedures, so that the docs won’t get sued by me. (Malpractice fear) I tell them what the outcome will be, and offer to sign paper releasing them of responsibility, but nevertheless, I must take said tests. Tests come back negative- as I said they would. Meanwhile , my insurance has been billed and pays for said tests. This drives up costs.

    But generally, I think docs should be able to practice “in good faith” without being worried that they will lose their livlihood. I’m not talking about gross negligence with perscriptions, blood transfusions or any of that.

    Basically, there is no panacea. There is going to be inequality in either system.

    My point is that the “semi-literate clerk at Ginormous Insurance Company, ” now becomes the clerk for the Ginormous Gvt system.

    There are tons of folk who work in administrative/bureaucracy positions in Brit healthcare.

    I’m pretty sure I posted some article which dealt with the fact that docs don’t even want to INFORM patients of the latest cancer treatments, because they also don’t want to have to tell them that it is *not covered by NHS, *and see faces of sadness, disappointment, anger.

    Dental plans, I believe are not part of NHS, either.

    Has anybody seen the sitcoms “Yes, Minister” and “Yes, Prime Minister?” Yes, I know it’s a sitcom, but many real life ministers from all parties have commented that it’s like a documentary,lol. Former ministers and civil servants are the “sources.” Many of the situations have actually happened in real life. The whole show deals with excessive gvt. bureaucracy that exists, regardless of party.

    That, and the fact that politicians in general are not our friends, when push comes to shove. They and the civil servant “underlings” (who really run the show 😉 will in the end say or do anything that will make them look good, cover up and carry them to the next election.

    This is why I don’t think I could actually work for any politician.

    “Compassionate Society” (parts 1,2, and3) ;

    Beginning of Part 3 is the kicker,with full admin staff typing away and no patients in hospital.

    • Marcy Says:

      You’re right about gvt. clerk vs. private ins. clerk, which is why I said better the devil I know. And I’m probably overly Pollyanna-ish about Hillary care — I also used to believe in the tooth fairy, Santa Claus, that ACORN was just a nice bunch of people trying to help poor people with housing problems they were having with slumlords, and that the Democratic Party cared about women.

      We’re already screwed, though. In the Economic Stimulus legislation already passed and signed into law by President Obama, the process has already been started for the government to decide what procedures and drugs will be available to patients. Just do an internet search of “National Coordinator of Health Information Technology” and see what comes up. They’re not just assembling all medical records in one place; they’re starting down the path of deciding what care each individual should get. Considering Obama’s record, I’d say every woman over about 50 who develops a serious illness should make sure her affairs are in order.

      • loudmouthjewishbabe Says:

        Whomever is in charge of a gvt healthcare system is going to have to crunch numbers, as the bills roll in. It’s beyond Obama and his administration’s incompetance,imo. I don’t think Hillary’s acumen is any better than former Prime Ministers who have tried and failed in the various socialized countries. She’s just a politician and none of them want to say, “The truth is we can only afford to give X% of you this type of care.”

        Americans have very high expectations. We expect EVERYONE to have the latest and greatest the medical world has to offer, paid for.

        When that doesn’t happen with gvt care the Bitchfest will commence.

  9. loudmouthjewishbabe Says:

    Here it is again, in case anybody missed it:

    BCBS approved all 4- 5 of my sister’s chemo drugs, including Avastin, which *at the time * was new on the market. Even now, May 2009, when this UK Telegraph article published-

    “Avastin and Erbitux, the two main drugs for those with the advanced stages of the disease, are normally denied by the NHS on cost grounds. ”

    So….where were the honorable Lib Dems Labour and Tory MP’s advocating for equality of care in the NHS system?

  10. Marcy Says:

    To continue the thread from above, I don’t see any problem with expecting everyone to get the best possible care, as opposed to the present system in which care is rationed by how much money you have or, in the case of Congress, how important you are. I am no more deserving of care than some uninsured, unemployed person; and Nancy Pelosi sure isn’t.

    In a perfect world, if Congress would stop pissing away money on stupid, useless projects, we could probably afford this. But the choices should be made, as you discussed, by a doctor, and at that a doctor who is reasonably sure that as long as he is acting competently and in good faith he will not face a lawsuit.

    But as I pointed out, Obama has already set in motion, in a law already passed, a system of deciding what care we should receive. I am totally opposed to the government doing to health care what it has done to the banking and auto industries, but I still wish the system we had was a little more fair to everyone.

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