Former DNC chairman Howard Dean talked today about healthcare reform and the death of Ted Kennedy. Dean wrote, “When President Obama signs a Health Care Reform bill late this year, Ted Kennedy’s may not be standing there next to him, but his presence will be deeply apparent in the Oval Office as the President’s pen moves across the page.”
Dean wrote on his blog that, “We will miss Senator Ted Kennedy as a nation, and I will miss him as a human being. Over the next few months, as we debate his life’s passion, which was Universal Health Care, we will feel his presence everywhere. He will be in the Senate Chamber, in the committee rooms, in the White House, and in the minds of most of the reporters old enough to have witnessed the trajectory of this extraordinary generation of America’s First Family from its beginning. Much has been written about Ted Kennedy already. He was indeed extraordinary.”
He added a personal story, “My mother, who was a solid Upper East Side Republican until 2004, once happened to sit next to him at a wedding of a mutual friend. She had never met him before. I’m sure the exchange was lively, and being a Dean, I doubt my mother gave him much quarter. A week later, a beautiful, kind, and very personal handwritten letter arrived from Ted Kennedy. My mother, like so many other Americans, was hooked by the Kennedy charm and grace.”
Dean maintained his belief that a healthcare bill will be passed and signed, “Ted Kennedy was a man with a long career of determination as well as charm. When President Obama signs a Health Care Reform bill late this year, Ted Kennedy’s may not be standing there next to him, but his presence will be deeply apparent in the Oval Office as the President’s pen moves across the page.”
Gov. Dean made an important point. With the passing of Ted Kennedy, it is almost certain that a healthcare bill will be passed. There really wasn’t much doubt about the passage of healthcare reform before the senator passed away, but now, I think it is a lock that it will get done. Healthcare was one of the big causes of Kennedy’s career, and I think that passing and then having a bill which contains a pubic option for President Obama to sign would be the most fitting tribute of all.