Category Archives: health care

Ted Kennedy’s Letter to President Obama

In my anger over GOP Congressman Joe “You Lie” Wilson of South Carolina  and the heckling Republicans, I didn’t get to spend as much time focusing tonight on the highlight of President Obama’s speech tonight.

For me the most newsworthy event wasn’t these fools, but rather the brief mention by President Obama of a letter he received from the late Sen. Ted Kennedy. Sen. Kennedy wrote the letter shortly before he died and asked that it be shared with the President after his death.

Here’s the letter in its entirety:

Dear Mr. President,

I wanted to write a few final words to you to express my gratitude for your repeated personal kindnesses to me – and one last time, to salute your leadership in giving our country back its future and its truth.

On a personal level, you and Michelle reached out to Vicki, to our family and me in so many different ways. You helped to make these difficult months a happy time in my life.

You also made it a time of hope for me and for our country.

When I thought of all the years, all the battles, and all the memories of my long public life, I felt confident in these closing days that while I will not be there when it happens, you will be the President who at long last signs into law the health care reform that is the great unfinished business of our society. For me, this cause stretched across decades; it has been disappointed, but never finally defeated. It was the cause of my life. And in the past year, the prospect of victory sustained me-and the work of achieving it summoned my energy and determination.

There will be struggles – there always have been – and they are already underway again. But as we moved forward in these months, I learned that you will not yield to calls to retreat – that you will stay with the cause until it is won. I saw your conviction that the time is now and witnessed your unwavering commitment and understanding that health care is a decisive issue for our future prosperity. But you have also reminded all of us that it concerns more than material things; that what we face is above all a moral issue; that at stake are not just the details of policy, but fundamental principles of social justice and the character of our country.

And so because of your vision and resolve, I came to believe that soon, very soon, affordable health coverage will be available to all, in an America where the state of a family’s health will never again depend on the amount of a family’s wealth. And while I will not see the victory, I was able to look forward and know that we will – yes, we will – fulfill the promise of health care in America as a right and not a privilege.

In closing, let me say again how proud I was to be part of your campaign- and proud as well to play a part in the early months of a new era of high purpose and achievement. I entered public life with a young President who inspired a generation and the world. It gives me great hope that as I leave, another young President inspires another generation and once more on America’s behalf inspires the entire world.

So, I wrote this to thank you one last time as a friend- and to stand with you one last time for change and the America we can become.

At the Denver Convention where you were nominated, I said the dream lives on.

And I finished this letter with unshakable faith that the dream will be fulfilled for this generation, and preserved and enlarged for generations to come.

With deep respect and abiding affection,

Ted

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Give to Rob Miller for Congress, Defeat Rep. Joe “You Lie” Wilson

Tonight I just made my first campaign contribution of the 2010 cycle. I gave a few dollars to Rob Miller, a Democrat who is running for Congress in South Carolina. You should, too.

Miller is running against GOP Republican Congressman Joe Wilson, who earlier tonight shouted, “You Lie!” to President Obama, after the president pointed out that there will be no health care benefits for illegal immigrants.

Visit Rob’s campaign website to learn more about his candidacy or visit his Act Blue page to make a secure contribution to his campaign.

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Meet the Heckling Republican Congressmen

It appears that Texas GOP Rep. Louie Gohmert was the Member of Congress who had the sign reading, “What Bill?” and S.C. GOP Rep. Joe Wilson was the member who yelled “You Lie” in during this evening’s Joint Session of Congress with President Obama.

In my view, President Obama gave a moving address appealing for reform of our health insurance system.

But GOP House Whip Eric Cantor of Virginia missed it. He was on his BlackBerry.

Then we wrapped up with GOP Rep. Charles Boustany, a birther and a fool who sought to buy a British title of “Lord” in a scam only the most stupid among us would fall for.

Why are Democrats negotiating with these demagogues?

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GOP Picks Birther to Deliver Republican Rebuttal

Don’t over look this fact as you watch President Barack Obama’s speech calling for health insurance reform: the official GOP response will be delivered by a “birther”, Rep. Charles Boustany of Louisiana.

Of the President’s citizenship, Rep. Boustany has said, “it’s certainly being looked at…I think there are questions. We’ll have to see.”

Boustany said this 26 seconds into this video. Clearly, he’s someone of credibility.

I think we know why Rep. Boustany was picked to speak tonight: he has a history of distorting facts around health insurance reform. He might have been the second choice. Maybe the lead GOP Senate negotiator on health care, Sen. Chuck Grassley, was booked. (Grassley of course, believes that the Democrats want to “pull the plug on grandma”. Or at least he believes that because President Obama and Sarah Palin said so.)

Would someone please tell me why the Democrats are negotiating with these demagogues?

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Why We Need Government-Run, Universal, Socialized Health Insurance

This cartoon crystalized to me why we must reform our health insurance system.

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Who Would Jesus Insure?

You can buy this wristband from www.whowouldjesusinsure.org.

You can buy this wristband from http://www.whowouldjesusinsure.org.

My Congressman, Jim Moran, recently held a town hall to answer the questions my neighbors and I have about health insurance reform. Like so many other town halls during this Congressional recess, it was was packed with people on all sides of the issue. My favorite blog, Wonkette, had the best coverage of the event.

As I watched the event on C-Span, I was struck by one sign captured by the television cameras. It asked a simple question: “Who Would Jesus Insure?”

When I pose this question to my friends on the far right wing of the Republican Party, they get very uncomfortable, particular those who are Christian Evangelicals. (Let me clear, they aren’t squirming over the fact that the question fails to use the pronoun “whom” which would make it grammatically correct.)

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Sen. Al Franken: Teabag Whisperer

The folks at Talking Points Memo got this video from DustyTrice.com. What I like about it is no one is screaming. Folks gathered with Sen. Franken may not agree with him, but they have to agree that he is respectful to them. As I think about all the elected officials, Republican and Democrat, who have represented me over the years, few have been as courteous to opponents as Sen. Franken was here.

Perhaps how courteous a candidate is to those with whom they disagree should be a factor in our voting decisions.

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