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August 27th, 2009
04:00 PM ET

Can Sen. Kennedy's death bring bipartisanship to health care?

ALT TEXT

Can Sen. Kennedy’s death bring bipartisanship to the health care debate? (PHOTO CREDIT: GETTY IMAGES)

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

(CNN)
– Democrats are hoping that Senator Ted Kennedy's death will help breathe new life into health care reform.

Some believe the loss of Kennedy will bring a new spirit of bipartisanship to the issue, and at the very least change the tone of the debate, which has become downright nasty. Already, one group against reform has suspended its advertising out of respect for Kennedy.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi says Kennedy's "dream of quality health care for all Americans will be made real this year because of his leadership and his inspiration." Democrats plan to name the forthcoming legislation after the late senator.

But not everyone is so sure Kennedy's death will make any difference on the health care debate. One top Republican tells the New York Times the fight was pretty much suspended with the president on vacation and that it would likely "pick up right where we left off in a week or two."

In fact, several Republicans say they think Congress would be closer to reaching a deal if Kennedy had been healthy and involved in crafting the legislation – since he had the ability to cross the aisle and compromise.

And, it's not just Republicans who will need to start cooperating here. Some say the real question will be whether Kennedy's passing prompts Democrats who have been wavering on reform to get on board.

Here’s my question to you: Can Senator Kennedy's death revive the spirit of bipartisanship when it comes to health care reform?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

Mack from Michigan writes:
No it won’t, Jack. The right-wing talking radio head hate dispensers have long disparaged Sen. Kennedy as one of the evil leaders of the evil liberal/socialist agenda. They have already begun to disparage the reputation and memory of the man, claiming his death is now a marketing plan for "Obamacare". The feeble-minded followers of these hate mongers will continue to eat up the lies and propaganda like candy, and bipartisanship will continue to be just a concept.

Allen from Idaho writes:
That's a very nice thought, but I wouldn't bet a nickel on it happening. The Republicans don't play well with others anymore. They have gotten their base so excited with hate speech about death panels, socialism, and comparing Democrats to Hitler, that a compromise would cause a complete revolt within the party.

CJ from Roanoke, Virginia writes:
Even with Kennedy gone, where is the money for this going come from? Nothing has changed and the country is going broke. Gridlock is the best thing at this point in the Obama presidency.

Larry from Milford, Connecticut writes:
I am fighting lung cancer and my insurance company wants to cancel my policy due to a pre-existing condition. I have lost the one person who could possibly stop this from happening. The rest of the Washington folks really don't give a damn.

Wilhelm writes:
You will never get bipartisanship from the Republicans. The only thing Pres. Obama can hope for is that Sen. Kennedy's passing will shame these so called "Blue Dog" Democrats in the Senate, many of them bought and paid for by the health insurance lobby, into doing what's right for the American people for once.

Jerry from Fountain, Colorado writes:
Sadly, I don't think so. With Kennedy's passing, we have lost the only person in Congress who really cared about the people. I don't think there are any Lions left. Just some sheep and chickens.


Filed under: Health care • Ted Kennedy
soundoff (257 Responses)
  1. Amber - Austin, TX

    It's time for every member of Congress to step up and follow Senator Kennedy's lead. Keep to your word, make the deal, and make it meaningful for all Americans.

    Along with getting the deals made, they should name the Bill in honor of Senator Kennedy.

    August 27, 2009 at 2:11 pm |
  2. Gloria, pennsylvania

    Unfortunately no, the republicans are not interested in bipartinsanship or anything that will help ordinary Americans. They are only interested in the rich. It's their way or the highway.

    August 27, 2009 at 2:12 pm |
  3. Frank NJ

    As long as their are republicans in there will be no bipartisanship. They don't know what the word means. They were given blanket orders to oppose any and everything the President does and they are carrying out their orders to the letter.

    August 27, 2009 at 2:13 pm |
  4. Anne

    In normal times, I would say yes. However, we have entered the era of screaming, shouting, Nazi signs, and Sarah Palin. The country is too divided, too angry, and much of the populace is taking marching and threatening orders from Palin and Rush.

    Bipartisanship is as dead as the dodo bird. I don't see it coming back in my lifetime.

    Anne
    Texas

    August 27, 2009 at 2:14 pm |
  5. David in Raleigh, NC

    The problem with bipartisanship is that there are two different definitions.

    The first definition is the one in the dictionary that urges both parties to drop their extreme viewpoints and reach a compromise.

    The second definition is Obama's and the Democrats in Congress definition. They believe they should not compromise and the Republicans should give up their position and adopt the Democrats position without any compromise being made by Obama and the Democrats in Congress.

    Seeing that the 2nd definition is currently at play in Washington, I don't see a bipartisan healthcare solution happening.

    August 27, 2009 at 2:16 pm |
  6. Bizz, Quarryville, Pennsylvania

    Jack, one can only hope. There wouldn't be anything more appropriate then to have both parties sit down and work out a healthcare bill to honor Senator Kennedy. This was something he was very passionate about and work for his whole life as a senator. I think it tells us something when Senator Kennedy, is said to be the only one in the senate, that could bring both sides of the aisle together to pass a bill. Kennedy proved that no matter how far left or right you were in politics you could always work things out. I think it will be a long time, if ever, before we see the likes of him on the senate floor.

    August 27, 2009 at 2:19 pm |
  7. Jack Carlson

    Absolutely not ! They just don't get it ..... 85% of "Americans are happy w/their healthcare. The young people can pay for themselves, and the illegals need to become legal and pay their own way. Let's help the truly poor, and disabled..which in total amounts to 10 million.
    Tort Reform (anyone who files and loses in court should pay for both sides), and allowing interstate sale of Ins is simply plain common sense.
    Jack C
    WA

    August 27, 2009 at 2:21 pm |
  8. Alveta, Maryland

    I certainly hope so Jack, but...it would be a miracle if they did. They are stuck in there ways, I can't see them being caring enough. And that's the bottom line, caring for what's much needed in our country.

    August 27, 2009 at 2:22 pm |
  9. Michael Odegard

    I think the death of the lion of the Senate will bring the two parties together. The departure of Kennedy should remind the parties about what they are really all about–to rob the American people, especially younger Americans. We should never forget that Kennedy stood for baby boomers entitlements, at the expense of gen X, Y and those even younger.

    August 27, 2009 at 2:22 pm |
  10. Jim

    I would certainly hope NOT.

    We tax-paying citizens deserve a more professional, considerate, and thoughtful process from our Congress than an emotional impulsive gesture, made at our expense, designed to make some transitory gesture to the pop-culture of Kennedy-worship.

    If they want to make a public gesture, they should do it on their own nickel, and not with accelerating the passage of badly crafted laws they haven't even read. ("We thought so much of Ted, we decided to pass this crappy bill that only the Left likes, in his honor. Yeah, that should revive bipartisanship!" Huh!?) If they feel they have to make a gesture, vote on commissioning a statue of him; at least the damage is limited to crummy sculpture, rather than the never-ending destruction caused by bad law-making.

    If elected legislators want the respect of the voters, they need to start acting like serious independent professionals capable of thinking for themselves, and not like a junior high school clique of publicity-hungry air-heads who have to mimic eachother for self-approval.

    Middlebury, Vermont

    August 27, 2009 at 2:23 pm |
  11. Mareike Kuypers los angeles

    We can only hope.

    August 27, 2009 at 2:26 pm |
  12. JWC in Atlanta

    No. Washington, and particularly the Senate, is all about opportunistic gamesmanship. The hypocricy of the talking faces speaking high mindedly of the recently deceased are simultaneously thinking about how to maximize political moments to further an agenda. And frankly if he or she doesn't think that way, they'll never make it for long in U.S. Politics. If anything, Health Care Cost Reform in general is a more distant possibility without benefit of a high profile influence.

    August 27, 2009 at 2:29 pm |
  13. Carl D.

    Jack,
    The way our government carries on and on with each other, not a chance in hell.
    Carl in Illinois

    August 27, 2009 at 2:30 pm |
  14. Jack Kramer in California

    Jack,

    No it won't. Some will shamelessly try to invoke his name in death to garner sympathy, but most people will see through it. The Democrats are quick to point fingers at their opposition for not being bipartisan and going along with them, but they are not really listening to the the opposition's proposals either. As they say, "people in glass houses should not throw stones."

    August 27, 2009 at 2:30 pm |
  15. Denis Duffy

    I think the Obamacrats would love to use Senator Kennedy's passing as yet another ploy to gain passageof whatever flawed legislation they come up with. If Obama creates some sort of" Lets do this for Teddy!" comment, I would not be suprised. He will stoop to any means to force universal health care down our throats.

    Denis
    Pittsburgh, Pa.

    August 27, 2009 at 2:31 pm |
  16. Jennifer - Winnipeg

    Would that it could, Jack, but it is highly unlikely. The 'aisle' has grown much too wide ... particularly the part that borders on the Republican side. I think it's too late for members on either side to learn anything from Senator Kennedy's death. Unfortunately, the 'spirit of bipartisanship' has no doubt died along with the Senator.

    August 27, 2009 at 2:36 pm |
  17. Mark... Voorhees, New Jersey

    To assume that a spirit of bi-partisanship will be re-ignited by the death os Sen. Kennedy would be to assume that there is evidence of a moral, intelligent, fair, or respectful attitude in Congress, or for that matter the country as a whole. With the vitriol of the likes of Palin, Fox News and Limbaugh, combined with the mendacity of Congress fueled by the rapacious insurance companies, I'm afraid I don't see it. And given their actions, I think that we would be wise to vote out the scoundrels who stand in the way of a single-payer option, spouting their talking points fueled by insurance company cash. Based on the behavior the insurance companies, they should be nationalized. They contribute nothing to health care, and exist only for own profit, and the people be damned. That was not what any of the Kennedys stood for.

    August 27, 2009 at 2:36 pm |
  18. Meg from Troy, Ohio

    Jack–
    Senator Kennedy's passing can have a positive effect on healthcare reform, if the members of Congress begin to act as he did–cooperating and compromising on this issue which is so important for all Americans. It is especially important for Democrats to honor one of their own by working together and with the Republicans to get something concrete accomplished.

    August 27, 2009 at 2:37 pm |
  19. Lynx

    Hopefully there will at least be an honest debate. Till now we have people discouraging it. If we were a truly intelligent people we would not applaud those who disrupt simple Town Hall meetings. But we do.
    We applaud people who at these question and answer meetings spout rhetoric that has nothing to do with the subject at hand. We attend for information and get noise and diatribes from the crowd.
    This is insulting to those who come to actually get questions answered. So why attend?
    Any group small or large that will not engage in public, formal and civil discourse is hiding another agenda. We had best beware of them they are truly not our friend. Their agenda must be to our detriment.

    August 27, 2009 at 2:38 pm |
  20. Jim/NC

    First of all, the group that quit advertising is not against reform...they are against HR3200...facts please when asking questions. I believe most Americans want reform. As for your question, no, Senator Kennedy's passing will not change anything. He had a chance when Hillarycare was introduced and failed. Democrats and republicans are mirror images...give me what I want or I want vote for the bill. Bipartisanship is/has disappeared in the halls of congress.

    August 27, 2009 at 2:38 pm |
  21. Sandy from Albuquerque

    Heck no. Those buffoons have already started blaming Sen. Kennedy for the lack of bipartisanship. "If he had been here to lead us we would have been able to come closer to a decision by now". Instead of stepping up to the plate and working with the democrats, they are hiding behind Kennedy's death and saying that now they can't get anything done. What a bunch of losers.

    August 27, 2009 at 2:41 pm |
  22. Kerry Florida

    I wish it would, but unless receiving money from insurance companies to thwart healthcare reform becomes a mute issue for the greedy bastards in government who receive bribes now, I would say no.

    Greed and having a monopoly on the peoples health in this country is shameful and remains embarrassment in the eyes of the rest of the industrialized world...

    August 27, 2009 at 2:41 pm |
  23. Lesa, TN

    Jack,
    It should bring in bi-partisanship. But after Senator Kennedy's burial, when all the condolences are over, everything will go back to being the same. It's hard to believe the GOP will let something like this make them wimp out on being the party to let go of their stubbornness. They are politicians, the party of NO, period.

    August 27, 2009 at 2:42 pm |
  24. Rus in St. Paul, MN

    Jack, it will change things for about 3-4 days, then we'll all forget and we'll be right back where we were before; claims of death panels on the right, claims of fear-mongering on the left, and all of the actual good ideas lost in the middle.

    August 27, 2009 at 2:45 pm |
  25. Ed Inflorida

    "Ted Kennedy's dream of quality health care for all Americans will be made real this year because of his leadership and his inspiration," this is a quote from the Kennedy family. I would imagine that the Democrats will do anything to push this health plan down our trough and Kennedy death would give it a boost. I have not heard but if a Government plan passes, is Congress going to move over to that plan, I don't think so. This whole mess is going to be just like auto insurance, we have to have it but a lot of people don't and still drive so I have to pay for uninsured motorist ... I am just a retired individual who is struggling to make ends meet and I do not need another headache.

    Ed

    August 27, 2009 at 2:48 pm |
  26. lockeanddemosthenes

    While it would be regrettable that it would take the death of a renowned senator to bring about cooperation and reform, if that is what it takes Obama should capitalize. It is what Kennedy would have continued to fight for, and if invoking his memory is the only way to get this passed, so be it. It is unfortunate it had to come to this, but healthcare needs to be off the table to make room for other issues.

    August 27, 2009 at 2:48 pm |
  27. Larry from Georgetown, Texas

    No Jack it can't and it won't. The only thing that would bring these bozo's together is if they all lost their health care and millions of dollars that they receive from the lobbyist. They don't know the meaning of the word loss or humility as they haven't suffered any loss, like a home, a job or everything while many people continue to lose.

    August 27, 2009 at 2:56 pm |
  28. Nelson, Somerdale, NJ

    It's never going to happen. The Republican Party is on a mission to make health care reform fail and make it look like the President failed. It's no longer about what is good for the country, now it's if we can't look good then make the other guy look bad. If the Democrats want to pass health care reform they are going to have to do what the Republicans did with Newts' Contract On America, force it through in spite of what the other party does or thinks. We all know what that did for the country.

    August 27, 2009 at 2:56 pm |
  29. a.c. of La.

    I hope so Jack. Sen. Kennedy championed this issue all of his life. If the Dems have any gumption at all, they should do the right thing and get it done.

    August 27, 2009 at 2:56 pm |
  30. Greg, Ontario

    You can't revive something that didn't happen in the first place. The Republican party could never and will never put their own goals to the side to help the American people. Health care reform takes a serious commitment to change and the GOP believes America is perfect and not in need of any kind of change. Americans although they like to think they do, never step up to help one another. You need only drive through New Orleans to see that. So Senator Kennedy's dream of health care for all was a goal that could never be in America. Sorry Jack, you just don't have what it takes, as a people.

    August 27, 2009 at 2:56 pm |
  31. Ron

    Yes and it should be called either the Ted or Edward Kennedy Health Care Act.

    August 27, 2009 at 2:56 pm |
  32. Betty, San Diego, Ca.

    There was no bipartisanship on health care reform when Senator Kennedy was alive. Social Security and Medicare are social programs instituted by Democrats without Republican support. Democrats have always had to go it alone when it come to social programs. What the Democrats need to do is revive the spirit of all Democrats. Rename the bill the Edward M. Kennedy Health Reform Bill and pass meaningful health care reform now.

    August 27, 2009 at 2:56 pm |
  33. Michael, Alexandria, VA

    The Republicans likely won't compromise as a party, so there will be no bipartisanship. There may be one or two GOP Senators voting with a more solid majority, which will pass the bill, but that is different.

    August 27, 2009 at 2:57 pm |
  34. Jeff in Houston

    Not a chance. The insurance companies have demonstrated for decades their complete disregard for life (does not sound very Republican, now does it?). The death of a mere Senator of Kennedy's stature will be forgotten when the insurance companies write their next check.

    August 27, 2009 at 2:58 pm |
  35. David in San Diego

    Of course not. Bipartisanship is dead–the Obama haters, the AM radio wingnuts, the Congressional GOPhers trying to emerge from their holes won't let this administration accomplish anything. All his death does is reduce the votes for health care reform by one in the Senate.

    August 27, 2009 at 2:58 pm |
  36. j/NJ

    Can Senator Kennedy’s death revive the spirit of bipartisanship when it comes to health care reform?

    Believe it or not there is no precedent for genuine bipartisanship in American politics...but that does not mean it cannot happen; if it does, chances are it will be a very short lived phenomenon...

    August 27, 2009 at 3:00 pm |
  37. Adam Simi Valley, CA

    i am not sure it will have any impact at all. The average American is still very much concerned about the proposed pieces of legislation. i don't see their feelings being influenced one iota by Kennedy's passing. It may give a few Democratic Senators a cause they can to manipulate for personal gain and grandstanding opportunities, but I really doubt any significant impact will be felt. It won't serve as a major rallying point for Dems who are currently being beat up over healthcare by their constituents.

    August 27, 2009 at 3:03 pm |
  38. Jeff in E. Lyme, CT

    No way Jack, Teddy's gone but those corrupt legislators who sold out to the special interests in the insurance & pharmaceutical industries still have to pay their debts.

    August 27, 2009 at 3:03 pm |
  39. Ray Lawson from Danville, VA

    The house bill is still a piece of garbage that should be tossed in the trash and no one's death will change that fact.

    August 27, 2009 at 3:05 pm |
  40. E.G. in Canada

    Mr. Cafferty,

    Though the passing of Mr. Kennidy is tragic. Lets not go overboard.
    And give credit where credit is due.
    Hilary Clinton fought a very hard and selfless battle for Health Reform.
    What happened there ?...!
    Kennidy was influential in getting Hilary NOT elected President.
    Don't give him all the credit for a Health Reform.
    Don't name it after him.
    How about mentioning Hilary. She is the one how really tried something.

    August 27, 2009 at 3:05 pm |
  41. mark foster texas

    the death of kennedy, christ nor god,,,will stop the republicans from working for drug companies, big oil, rich people,the way to bipartisanship is giving more to the wealthy.............

    August 27, 2009 at 3:08 pm |
  42. Hubert Bertrand Oberlin La.

    The people that are making money from the high cost insurance and pharmaceutical, Will not change. They are still lobbing the politicians to stay the same. If you watch a politician in the eye,You can almost tell when he is selling his (SOLE)

    August 27, 2009 at 3:08 pm |
  43. Janice from Collingswood NJ

    That would be a wonderful tribute to him but it would have been better had he been able to see the bill signed in his lifetime. I think Obama knew that Teddy's time was short and that is why he wanted it done before recess. The Republicans need to know that it will get done, with or without their participation.

    August 27, 2009 at 3:08 pm |
  44. Hubert Bertrand Oberlin La.

    The people that are making money from the high cost insurance and pharmaceutical, Will not change. They are still lobbing the politicians to stay the same. If you watch a politician in the eye,You can almost tell when he is selling his (SOUL) sorry about that Hubert

    August 27, 2009 at 3:09 pm |
  45. Toye Smith

    “This is the cause of my life…. health care as a basic human right”. Yet for all the fame and fortune; the love and kindness of a country that Teddy enjoyed, it wasn’t enough insurance against death. How hopeless it must be for the millions of uninsured out there if they dare become terminally ill.
    If Teddy’s death doesn’t put things in perspective for those on the right; even more so for the blue-dogs, then God help us, because no mere mortal can.

    August 27, 2009 at 3:12 pm |
  46. bobwhite in Kansas

    Bipartisanship is a thing of the past in America. A corrupt two-party government does not work for the people. The two-party system only works for the elected officials in both parties who accept all the corporate and Wall Street pay-offs. Bipartisanship will only be possible if laws are passed which deny corruption payments and direct contributions to the elected. Ted Kennedy's death will make little if any difference so long as corrupt pay-offs are allowed. To Kennedy's credit, he didn't appear to need the corrupt pay-offs and maybe that is why we became the 'Liberal Lion of the Senate.'

    August 27, 2009 at 3:12 pm |
  47. Richard Sternagel

    Sadly No! The Democrats will have to go it alone.The bi-partisan efforts by President Obama have been note worthy for the lack action by Congress. President Obama is going to have to provide Leadership and twists arms if he has to in order to help legislate this public need.

    August 27, 2009 at 3:13 pm |
  48. Darren

    No. 65% of our Congressmen are on the medical lobbyists donor roll and will vote with their pocketbooks, not ours.

    August 27, 2009 at 3:13 pm |
  49. Remo, Beautiful downtown Pflugerville Texas

    Jack, it didin't stop when Sen. Kennedy was going through treatment, why wouild it stop now?

    August 27, 2009 at 3:14 pm |
  50. Toye Smith, Bridgeport CT

    “This is the cause of my life…. health care as a basic human right”. Yet for all the fame and fortune; the love and kindness of a country that Teddy enjoyed, it wasn’t enough insurance against death. How hopeless it must be for the millions of uninsured out there if they dare to become terminally ill.
    If Teddy’s death doesn’t put things in perspective for those on the right; even more so for the blue-dogs, then God help us, because no mere mortal can.

    Toye Smith
    Bridgeport, CT

    August 27, 2009 at 3:14 pm |
  51. Ed from California

    Jack, one can only hope. The vast majority of Americans (the one's that can think for themselves) want this reform. It's the one's that can't, who have started this opposition fight. "The Tree of Liberty" wackjobs, and so forth are getting all the attention. What does lowering insurance costs have to do with "Liberty", is anyone's guess? I just wonder where these "patriots" were when are jobs were being shipped overseas.

    August 27, 2009 at 3:20 pm |
  52. Lisa in Shelton

    Since the GOP members are playing even farther to the right fringe, despite enormous respect for Teddy's service, his dream for universal healthcare is not shared by the right and so Teddy's death will be unlikely to sway any votes. Too bad Teddy got the law changed to help Kerry who lost anyway or we might have been filibuster proof.

    August 27, 2009 at 3:24 pm |
  53. Pastor D

    Yes, I believe that the Republicans and Democrats can come together and pass a comprehensive health care bill in Kennedy's name if they can agree that the health care companies are bilking the American people out of billions of dollars with excessive testing and multiple doctors that people must be seen by. Once they figure these two obstacles out- they will be able to set a foundation on a health care bill and then can digitize patients instead of using folders.

    August 27, 2009 at 3:25 pm |
  54. Brian

    Jack,

    Are you kidding? Surely the right-wingers in Congress are dancing behind closed doors, because the last person in the Senate who was both sincerely passionate for health care reform and a great debater has passed. Republicans will wait until they don't have to feel bad for being happy anymore, then they'll promptly lock arms and seal their lips when it comes to speaking to Democrats.

    Your question assumes there is at least one respectable GOP Congressman, and unfortunately I have not found that to be the case.

    Brian
    Boise, ID

    August 27, 2009 at 3:26 pm |
  55. Lynne Parker, North Augusta, SC

    Bipartisan anything is a thing of the past. I really don't know what it will take to dissolve the enormous wedge between Americans.

    August 27, 2009 at 3:26 pm |
  56. Birddog in Mississippi

    All insurance companies do is collect a huge pot of our money, take 25% of it, and then give back the other 75% of it when one of us gets sick - if we're lucky. The government does the same thing with Medicare– except that they only take 4% and give us back 96%. I would like one Republican or Bluedog Democrat to explain why Americans shouldn't have the right to choose a public option. I don't want to be subsidized, I don't want special treatment. I just want the dang right to have the money I put into health care insurance actually pay for health care instead of lining the pockets of Insurance Company fat cats.

    August 27, 2009 at 3:27 pm |
  57. Sherri-Illinois

    If there are any Republicans in Heaven then there definitely will be bipartisanship with Teddy at the wheel. Down here on earth? Absolutely not! The Republicans have not attempted any matter of bipartisanship from 1/22/09 and I commend President Obama with attempting to on several occasions BUT its not going to happen, not with the Private Insurance companies paying over $1 MILLION dollars a day to stop it any & all attempts at healthcare reform. Money talks! Kiss bipartisanship goodbye!.

    August 27, 2009 at 3:27 pm |
  58. Bert

    Get real Jack! The death of 3 Kennedys will not change the continuing bashing of Obama's administration and policies let alone the health care debate.
    Don't you get it? This is the republicans strategy! Its all they have to go on.They are a confused lost party without a leader!

    August 27, 2009 at 3:28 pm |
  59. Alex in Seattle

    His brother's death got us to the moon. I hope congress can now work together. for the good of the people, to craft and pass the Edward M. Kennedy Memorial Health Care Reform Act this fall.

    August 27, 2009 at 3:29 pm |
  60. george

    Fat Chance !! The Republicans are so dug in that a bulldozer couldn't root them out, so I don't think the death of Senator Kennedy, someone they all said that they loved, and respected are now making jokes about him, but they will soon find out that the jokes is on them. Health Care will pass without them, and the country will be a better place for doing so, and the Republicans will continue there path into oblivion.

    August 27, 2009 at 3:30 pm |
  61. Albert K.. L.A, CA

    Yes, I believe that Ted Kennedy’s life will inspire all who call themselves Democrats, and all who once rallied behind the words, “No Child Left Behind,” to feel the spirit and intent of a National American standard of care for every American, young and old. Bipartisan support for Ted’s plan is truly what he would have wanted for us.

    August 27, 2009 at 3:32 pm |
  62. Irv Lilley

    Jack , It could , if the Republicans get over their defeat. And start thinking about their middle class and lower class voters. Again ,
    congress could resolve the issue , if they would do away with the
    double standard of denying the rest of us the ability to have the same health care system as congress.

    August 27, 2009 at 3:35 pm |
  63. Brian - Trinidad

    In all the years I've been following politics,Ted Kennedy was never spoken about in such glowing terms,unless he lined up against the unpopulars,such as the Clintons.He even got trashed when he criticised Carter's lame presidency.Too bad,because if all those that speak so glowingly now about his wisdom and judgement had listened to it,we would not be in this situation on Health Care,and indeed on may other issues.You get what you paid for,and you got Obama now.So suck it up as it aint gettin' better.

    August 27, 2009 at 3:38 pm |
  64. Jim Bailey

    How about the Democrats not only pick up the torch and the dream from Sen. Kennedy's legacy but some backbone as well.
    The Blue Dog/Republicans and their corporate sponsors can no more be reasoned with than a rabid python in a day care center.
    Jim Bailey
    Cripple Creek CO

    August 27, 2009 at 3:38 pm |
  65. STAN - IL.

    His death will not change a thing. The Republicans made up their mind when Obama was elected and nothing will change their mind. They could care less about the people that need health care. Their main concern is themselves and the wealthy.

    August 27, 2009 at 3:39 pm |
  66. Dennis

    Jack, as optimistic as I am, if this doesn't bring the two sides together and calm the waters of this serious issue, I believe health care reform in the spirit of how Sen. Kennedy would have reached out to get something accomplished for the common good, just will not happen and the Democrats will have to do it on their own. Even as a Democrat, I would like to see both parties take this opportunity to resolve some of what has divided us and make this the first step into making our country whole again. I, for one, am tired of the fighting and arguing that is taking us nowhere. May Sen. Kennedy rest in peace and never be forgotten, especially by those in Congress.

    Dennisi/Hartsville,Tn.

    August 27, 2009 at 3:39 pm |
  67. Andrea in Twin Lake, Michigan

    No, Jack, Kennedy's death will not help. The Republicans do not want health care reform period. I'm so distressed that the Republicans can look at the suffering of so many people, like the lady at Sen. Coburn's town hall meeting, and still play politics. They have proven to me that they are playing politics because, unlike the Democrats, they all fall in line like lemmings and vote the same way. I hope this nation sweeps all the Republicans out in the next elections so something can get done for the good of the people.

    August 27, 2009 at 3:40 pm |
  68. GWTripp

    I am sorry to see the passing of Senator Kennedy. As far as the effect it will have on the Medical Reform Bill is one less vote comes the day of reckoning. The Republicans are full of "no" and the Blue Dog Democrats are Republicans in sheep’s clothing. For the good of the country and its industries and small business Obama needs to get true Democrats together and put forth the best bill possible, one which includes a “public” option. Anything less will be very bad for everyone but the insurance companies.

    August 27, 2009 at 3:43 pm |
  69. Bill C.

    As the single most important influence broker for Obama and as the most important symbolic figure in the health care issue itself, Kennedy's death threatens deeper divisions over health care within the Democratic party itself. More party infighting will threaten to derail passage of any bill, never mind bolster bipartisanship.

    From a national standpoint generally, and outside the party specifically, the Kennedy's are deeply distrusted and disliked, so I see no sudden rush to create a health care memorial in his name under the guise of bipartisanship.

    August 27, 2009 at 3:43 pm |
  70. Mike in TX

    The only way it will revive the spirit of bipartisanship is if each of the men and women of all parties in Congress listen to the words they are saying about how Sen. Kennedy managed to get things done. He accomplished a lot but if they will listen to themselves the will discover his largest legacy could be that of a teacher on why they are there and how to go about the business of this country.

    No one expects everyone to agree on everything up there but we hired them to reach that middle ground for us. I expect that the politics of the next election will continue, unabated, while they all say how much we need change.

    August 27, 2009 at 3:46 pm |
  71. Anne -- Sulphur, LA

    I certainly hope so. There are far too many people in America who have to choose between paying other bills or paying for health care. Kennedy remembered this and hopefully his passing will remind the rest of the Senate of this as well.

    August 27, 2009 at 3:46 pm |
  72. Denny from Tacoma, WA

    I think that the Republicans are too rigid to give up their endorsements by the health insurance industry lobbyists. However, Kennedy's death may rally the Democrats to proceed with passing some sort of health care reform, hopefully the public option.

    August 27, 2009 at 3:46 pm |
  73. Jim

    Jack,

    Would that it were true, but I just can't see it. Given the rancor stirred up in this debate, mostly by special interests and their lying propaganda, I don't see even the death of this good man restoring any real spirit of bipartisanship. I hope I'm wrong.

    Jim
    Reno,Nevada

    August 27, 2009 at 3:46 pm |
  74. Tom from Philly

    lets be real senator kennedy's death and the 5 month vacancy MEANS that any healthcare reforme aka insurance rerform will be bipart, unless reconcilliation is used

    August 27, 2009 at 3:46 pm |
  75. Jeff

    The passing of Senator Kennedy will all but guarantee the passing of bipartisan health care reform, including all the bits that he supported. The Democrats have time and time again proven themselves to be brilliant politikers, and naming the bill after their legislative icon, a man deeply respected by all those in American politics, is no exception. When Congress begins work again after the recess, the Democrats will begin to lay down their cards one by one, and the Republicans will be unable to vote no and insult Kennedy's name in the end.

    jeff
    isla vista, ca

    August 27, 2009 at 3:48 pm |
  76. Dominic Gardunio

    Jack, I believe that with Sen. Kennedy's death will bring bipartisanship to health care to both senate and the house. If senators and congressmen(women) just think about the dream that Kennedy wanted to give to the people of this great nation. Maybe we can finally have health care reform.

    Dominic Gardunio

    North East, PA

    August 27, 2009 at 3:48 pm |
  77. John James

    Healthcare Bill is another scam (1 billions dollars in pork as well) – almost all Americans are happy w/what they have for Ins.
    Clean up the fraud, ,kickbacks to Congress, frivolous lawsuits, etc
    We are tired of the pork, and fabrications from the so called Public Servants.

    John J
    Co

    August 27, 2009 at 3:49 pm |
  78. Don

    Hopefully yes, expectations No.
    The determining factor is whether members of congress will vote for what is best for the people or vote for what is best for their pocketbooks which are overflowing with insurance company and pharmaceutical contributions.

    August 27, 2009 at 3:50 pm |
  79. Dennis in Grand Rapids, MI

    Well, given that the Republicans are the party of "No" I doubt it makes any difference to them if Kennedy was there or not.

    August 27, 2009 at 3:51 pm |
  80. Donald in CA

    No, the right wing that controls the republican party are so cold blooded that they dont care who died. They are focused on health care reform not being passed, and no Obama agenda be successful.
    Even if it wrecks the country.

    August 27, 2009 at 3:52 pm |
  81. Janice Jones

    They are all feeding their own bellies.....take a close look at the Kennedy clan back to Joe Kennedy Sr and find out where they got their money. You don't fool people how study history. Truman could not stand Joe Kennedy and to get rid of him made him an Ambassador.
    Janice J
    WI

    August 27, 2009 at 3:52 pm |
  82. bob z, from pa.

    no would you want this bill

    August 27, 2009 at 3:53 pm |
  83. Willow, Iowa

    As divisive and word twisting as political climate has been lately, people may use Sen. Kennedy's death as an excuse to bash the other side, but I don't think there will be real bipartisanship. The Democrats may use his death as a reason to continue. And the Republicans may use his death to say they are caring people. But what people say and what people do is sometimes a whole different story.

    August 27, 2009 at 3:54 pm |
  84. Tom Ross

    Although, it would be nice and anything is possible...a Republican is a Republican is a Republican. I would look for Jesus, Shoeless Joe Jackson, Marilyn Monroe, Bugsy Siegel, George Washington and the Kennedy Brothers re-appearing on Earth before the Republican's will support the health reform inititiative. Republican's would drown their own Mother's to achieve their goals and then...go to church having convinced themselves they did the right thing.

    August 27, 2009 at 3:54 pm |
  85. Lisa, Dublin, Ohio

    It would be nice to think that the passing of such an iconic public servant as Kennedy would finally bring people to their senses & make them behave as adults. Don't count on it. The only real concerns for the vast majority of the Hill are money, position and power. So I think we can expect to see our duly elected officials running up and down the aisles like screaming children - with scissors in their hands.

    August 27, 2009 at 3:55 pm |
  86. Katiec Pekin, IL

    I hope so, Jack, but the republicans have been so unwilling to
    support or cooperate on anything, cannot be too optimistic.
    Am hoping reruns of his speeches and beliefs, his dedication to
    providing health care for everyone will open the eyes of some,
    especially those who appear to have no desire to improve or
    fix our present broken system.

    August 27, 2009 at 3:56 pm |
  87. HD in Phoenix, AZ

    Jack,

    21st century Republicanism is what brings bipartisanship and great division to the subject of healthcare or any subject where large corporate special interest is in control of our nation's congress. Insurance companies own our nation's Republican politicians lock, stock & barrel. Insurance companies are the main ones that stand to lose the most if any real true reform were introduced into the healthcare system because that is the black hole where healthcare dollars are wasted.

    HD in Phoenix, AZ

    August 27, 2009 at 3:56 pm |
  88. Jay in Texas

    No, I don't believe it can. The Republicans are already hollering that the Democrats are using Senator Kennedy's death to their advantage in the health care debate. Same old thing. The only bipartisan concern is how they can funnel more money into the pockets of their super-rich friends who elected them.
    ~Jay~

    August 27, 2009 at 3:56 pm |
  89. Wilhelm von Nord Bock

    you will never get bipartisanship from the Republicans. only thing President Obama can hope for is that Senator Kennedy's passing will shame these so called "Blue Dog" Democrates in the Senate, many of them bought and paid for by the health insurance lobby, into doing what's right for the American people for once.

    August 27, 2009 at 3:57 pm |
  90. Mike, Syracuse, NY

    Not unless he channels himself into the opponents.

    August 27, 2009 at 3:58 pm |
  91. Bill Glover Baltimore MD

    Ted Kennedy spent a life time working in The Senate for the common man, those less fortunate, the oppressed and for health care to be looked upon as a fundamental right of all citizens. He was a life long Liberal yet able to reach out to Republicans and work a deal on most of the issues of the day. I would hope, in the spirit of his memory and to honor that memory, our Members of Congress and The Senate will put aside the partisanship and do what is right for the American People

    August 27, 2009 at 3:58 pm |
  92. Geoff, New Jersey

    Nope....Only if it creates a bipartisan feeling amongst the constituents of those who are refusing to engage in bipartisanship. Politicians are only loyal to trying to get re-elected. And the only thing that's gonna change the American people's minds on whether Health Care Reform is good or bad at this point is if Baby Jesus comes down from the heavens and personally requests that we all actually work together for the common good of one another. Central Christian principles of helping our fellow man, being thrown to the waste side in the "bible belt" while profiteers continue to pitch propoganda. O Lord Where Art Thou!

    August 27, 2009 at 3:59 pm |
  93. DJ from Fort Walton Beach, Florida

    We'll see, hopefully his passing will help the Democrats grow and pair and act like they are in charge because it hasnt looked like it. If Republicans strike back during the next elections I hope Dems treat the same way they are acting...turn about is fair play as they say...

    August 27, 2009 at 3:59 pm |
  94. Michael in Albuquerque, NM

    When Senator Kennedy asked what it was about the republicans that they would filibuster to delay the raise of the minimum wage, he exposed to the nation the deep division between the parties. He asked what is it that the republicans have against the working men and women of America. What is it with that side of the isle? And, it remains a valid question with the healthcare debate. There cannot be a revival of the bipartisan spirit until the republicans answer Senator Kennedys questions of their denial of service to working Americans.

    August 27, 2009 at 3:59 pm |
  95. Mike from Denver

    Actually Jack, his death may provide health care reform with new life. Name it after Ted, and politicians on both sides of the aisle will be inclined to set aside their differences and work towards a realistic piece of legislation. As ironic as it may be, his greatest achievement may still be to come.

    August 27, 2009 at 4:00 pm |
  96. Jerry Jacksonville, Fl.

    I hope so, it would be a lasting tribute to the Senator who has fought so hard for health care for ever American.

    August 27, 2009 at 4:02 pm |
  97. Diane Dagenais Turbide

    Jack,

    I hope but the definition of bipartisan has been about including amendment of benefits that not necessarily benefits to more people but rather to few people. We will see in the next week or so how people learn from this loss in our lives and its true meaning!

    August 27, 2009 at 4:02 pm |
  98. Ken in NC

    Jack, I would like to think it could but I have my doubts. The Health Care Industries and spent to many billions in an effort to defeat Reform. You must remember that they make their living off the profits or should I say make their living from the backs of the sick.

    August 27, 2009 at 4:05 pm |
  99. John

    Jack....
    Nothing is sacred in politics. What is this, legislation Memorial health care. It will just make the struggle more partisan.
    John....
    Pampa,TX

    August 27, 2009 at 4:05 pm |
  100. Richard J. Gottlieb - in Queretaro, Mexico

    Something has to...

    August 27, 2009 at 4:07 pm |
  101. Tom K in WA

    Hi Jack,

    Hopefully, Ted Kennedy’s death will inspire Congress to reach across the aisle to achieve effective health care legislation. Since he championed health care reform for so many years it would be fitting that in his death he was successful.

    August 27, 2009 at 4:09 pm |
  102. bill rupert

    I think it will bring some of the conservative dems on board but other then that by the time they get back on the job it will be buisness as usual.

    A word about what the Dems. need to do to improve their message. Take a look at the Town Hall that Jim Moran (8th District of Virginia)held last week. He had John Dean with him and they get a great job of telling everybody in the audiance what the bill said (in plain english) and what it does not say. Moran also went down this list (one at a time) of lies and myths that have been put out by the righties that even my grand-daughter would understand. The crowd, a raucus bunch, were forced into sileice by the time it was over.

    August 27, 2009 at 4:09 pm |
  103. joan meeks

    I can only hope that Ted's passing will cause congress to realize his dream but do not think it will happen.Republicans are hell bent on seeing Obama fail, you would think after eight years of George Bush they would show some compassion for the little guy. Big business is still their number one priority , insurance companies. If everyone could have insurance like they do, and as I do, they would be so much better off. My husband was in the military, retired after 24 years. When we reached the age for medicare, gov;t insurance paid all that medicare didn't cover, even the deductibles, why are people so foolish not to want that? I think people are justt getting more stupid, that's why this country is in such a mess.

    August 27, 2009 at 4:10 pm |
  104. Elizabeth, Clarksville, Tennessee

    If the Republicans and Democrats who continue to be a blockade to health care reform need a reason to move forward and work for health care for all, then they can use Ted Kennedy's legacy as a starting point. Ted's passing should be a reminder to all of Congress that in his last year he did not have the burden of worrying about who was going to pay his medical bills. He was covered. All Americans should have that peace of mind.

    August 27, 2009 at 4:11 pm |
  105. Adam

    No. This is the least bi-partisan government I have ever seen.

    August 27, 2009 at 4:11 pm |
  106. Howard M.-Bolingbrook IL

    Jack, nothing will change the modern day Republicans other than they having their way. They will speak glowingly about Senator Kennedy and and his quest, but I guarantee you they will not be moved toward real Health Care reform. The Republicans want to see the Obama presidency harmed or destroyed.

    August 27, 2009 at 4:11 pm |
  107. DON IN WESTPORT, MASS.

    No, they will still fight like children as a matter of fact the Senators passing may even inflame it.

    August 27, 2009 at 4:11 pm |
  108. Terry from Illinois

    Jack,
    Got news for you, Republicans will never be the "bi-partisan" for Healthcare because their campaign donors stand to loose to much if its made to benefit Americans instead of insurance companies.
    .
    When the Republicans are in control, they give everything to the rich, like million dollar tax breaks, they give everything to the companies like millions in tax breaks for outsourcing American jobs, millions are not counted because of off-shore tax-havens for companies and the rich, they support CEO's getting millions in bonuses on top of their millions in wages, they support trade agreements that are unfair to American workers and they want to take away a womans right to choose. ( KING GEORGE )

    When the Democrats are in control, they usually raise taxes, they want to give amnesty to the illegals, they want to take away our guns, they want to ruin what marriage has always been, want to give everything to the poor. ( ROBINHOOD )

    August 27, 2009 at 4:12 pm |
  109. James in Alabama

    I don't think that it will Jack. The Republican and Democratic philosophies are so different that the passing of Kennedy will have little or no effect on the outcome. Our entire government is so mired in special interest money that those who we've elected have forgotten that they're supposed to serve us rather than the deep pockets who keep funneling campaign money to them to perpetuate their offices and insure that the special interest agendas are adopted. What we need is a million Americans in the streets of Washington to get the attention of those people we elected.

    August 27, 2009 at 4:12 pm |
  110. honestjohn in Vermont

    In a word, no. Those corporations who stand to lose money from Healthcare Reform and their republican supporters will not be influenced by Ted Kennedy's death. We are talkin' about big money here that is paying for all the disinformation.

    August 27, 2009 at 4:13 pm |
  111. Bob

    The Health Insurance lobby has bought and paid for the support of the Republican members of Congress plus that of a few Democrat members.

    The death of Senator Kennedy and the attention it has brought to his struggle for meaningful health care for all cannot overcome this fact.

    Hopefuly some day, in the not too distant future , the electorate will wake up and the Congressmen and Congresswomen alligned witht he Health Care Industry will pay for their allegiance at the ballot box.

    Bob
    Louisville, Ky

    August 27, 2009 at 4:13 pm |
  112. mack from michigan

    No it wont Jack. The right wing talking radio head hate dispensors have long disparaged Senator Kennedy as one of the evil leaders of the evil liberal/socialist agenda. They have already begun to disparage the reputation and memory of the man claiming his death is now a marketing plan for "Obamacare" The feeble minded followers of these hate mongers will continue to eat up the lies and propaganda like candy and bipartisanship will continue to be just a concept.

    August 27, 2009 at 4:13 pm |
  113. Gigi

    It would be wonderful for the masses who need health care reform. But... there are few left in government that feel their responsibility is to work for those less fortunate than themselves. They have become an elite group of power hungry and self importance. Filling their own coffers.
    Senator Kenndey may have been that last one to be able to see past his own importance. Time will tell.

    Oregon

    August 27, 2009 at 4:13 pm |
  114. Jim

    Unfortunately for the republicans here in Texas, they are all against anything that has to do with the Obama Presidency. I know several folks here that call President Barack Obama a dictator. Even though we are all well aware that he was elected to office. It's really sad to see so many people that I thought were good be so concerned only about themselfs. That is the way I see the Republican party. I have become ashamed to call myself a Republican. Whatever happened to being citizens of the USA and caring about our neighbors, regardless what their race, religion, or political party??
    Jim
    Houston, Texas

    August 27, 2009 at 4:14 pm |
  115. CJ in Roanoke, VA

    Even with Kennedy gone, where is the money for this going come from? Nothing has changed and the country is going broke. Gridlock is the best thing at this point in the Obama presidency.

    August 27, 2009 at 4:15 pm |
  116. Kerry Diehl

    No way Jack, there are too many of us out here (and even those still in politics) remember him for NOT all of the right reasons such as Chappaquiddick or his fiery obnoxious tirades against opponents.

    Ted was anything but a Saint; remember he WAS indeed a TRUE politician!

    August 27, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  117. Allen L Wenger

    That's a very nice thought, but I wouldn't bet a nickle on it happening. The Republicans don't play well with others anymore. They have gotten their base so excited with hate speech about death panels, socialism, and comparing Democrats to Hitler, that a compromise would cause a complete revolt within the party. I think the Party of Hate has become so boxed in, that bipartisanship on any subject is not going to happen until the next election is over.

    Mountain Home ID

    August 27, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  118. Barbara NY

    I'm sorry to say that I don't think anything can make those morons behave in a bipartisan way. They all care more about their own agenda than the care about the American people. Too many owe their soul to Lobbyists.

    August 27, 2009 at 4:18 pm |
  119. Lisa in Shelton

    To Jim in Houston – if I had a ten gallon hat, it would be off to you sir.

    August 27, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  120. Annie, Atlanta

    Yeah, right about the time my fairy godmother waves her magic wand and brings us world peace. Bush disabled bipartisanship and Palin shot it dead in a fly-over last Fall thanks to a make-believe maverick. The end.

    August 27, 2009 at 4:20 pm |
  121. scott from wisconsin

    I don't think so.It's funny it always seems a tragedy has to happen to bring people together and focused hint (911) or hurricane katrina.But this time it's a money issue.You know how money causes problems.That's what caused or collapse in the first place.Ted Kennedy's death i don't think will make enough difference to change the current way of thinking.

    August 27, 2009 at 4:20 pm |
  122. Alan

    Not a chance. He is history. Only those there and now will try and work thier power.

    August 27, 2009 at 4:20 pm |
  123. Kelby in Houston

    Absolutely not. The Republicans are only concerned with defeating President Obama, making the American people suffer for rejecting them in the last election cycles and reclaiming power. There was never any hope for bipartisanship

    August 27, 2009 at 4:21 pm |
  124. madison

    No. In DC money talks, morality walks.

    August 27, 2009 at 4:21 pm |
  125. Susan

    It can, it's almost a sin in America to hate a Kennedy. Closer examination of the good things he said and did would make one consider why someone would stay in the Senate for over forty years plugging away for the poor and disadvantage. I'm not from MA, but I've grown up with the name Edward Kennedy my entire life. It makes want to know more about him than 'little brother of John F and Robert'. That's always how the media portrayed him.

    August 27, 2009 at 4:21 pm |
  126. CR

    While the majority of the Republicans may want to proceed with thebill in Kennedy's memory, their right-wing constituents who are not interested in health care reform, but only in making the Democrats and President Obama look bad, will keep insisting that the plan is not workable and threaten not to vote for them. Of course the Republicans will fold.

    Goodwill, Dominica

    August 27, 2009 at 4:21 pm |
  127. Ken

    It should, but probably won't.

    August 27, 2009 at 4:21 pm |
  128. Joe Schneider

    Unfortunately, Jack, Sen. Kennedy's death does nothing to take the corporate money out of the debate.

    The only thing bipartisan about Congress these days is how both parties line up at the trough to scoop up that sweet insurance industry cash.

    Is it no small coincidence that Baucus and his "six" along with most of the Blue Dogs are some of the biggest receivers of insurance industry moneys? If you think it is, I have a bridge to nowhere to sell you.

    August 27, 2009 at 4:21 pm |
  129. shanti chicago,il

    Hopefully it will. This is an incredibly important issue.. the US has the highest GDP in the world, yet it is ranked i think around 37 in terms of healthcare.

    It is undoubtedly important that all who need care get it.. but at the same time we don't want to turn towards socialistic policies or turn the healthcare industry into a political entity. The reason our country is so prosperous is our free market economy and our general belief in personal freedom.

    This is definitely an issue that needs a bipartisan resolution.

    Your question highlights an interesting article in the wall street journal titled, "Where have All the Deal Makers Gone." for those who are interested.

    August 27, 2009 at 4:22 pm |
  130. Kevin in Chicago

    Jacvk, it's ashame when the deceased has to inspire the living. Senator Kennedy has been fighting for Universal Health Care for decades to no avail. It's up to the LIVING U.S. Congressmen and Senators to inspire themselves to achieve landmark legislation for President Obama to sign!

    August 27, 2009 at 4:22 pm |
  131. nancy

    I hope Sn Kennedy's deathe will help the jerks in washington to work together for our country.

    Nancy
    Florida

    August 27, 2009 at 4:22 pm |
  132. Scott Biondi

    Absolutely not. The spirit of bipartisanship was dead long before Teddy Kennedy.

    August 27, 2009 at 4:22 pm |
  133. Chad from Los Angeles

    Maybe, but smart move naming it after him that can't hurt their chances.

    August 27, 2009 at 4:22 pm |
  134. johnniec from Florida

    Your kidding right? only if the republicans resign

    August 27, 2009 at 4:22 pm |
  135. Pablo in Arlington Texas

    Jack
    Bipartisanship? I doubt it. Not with the current crop of GOP clowns and whambos. But, pleasing God, it just might shame these gutless Democrats into finding a voice and a backbone.
    Sadly, it appears Teddy truly was the Last Lion. God Bless and keep him.

    Pablo
    Arlington Texas

    August 27, 2009 at 4:22 pm |
  136. jim Blevins

    Can you make friends with a rabid wolf? Most Republicans are driven by fear of a decent world. The second coming of Christ wouldn't make them be reasonable.

    Jim, Craig, CO

    August 27, 2009 at 4:23 pm |
  137. chuck in bishop ca.

    Jack, nothing has changed, the special interests will still win out and the people like me who can't afford the same health care that our senators have will still have to worry about getting sick and going into bankruptcy, what a great country!

    August 27, 2009 at 4:23 pm |
  138. Texan

    Yes, IF our representatives really want to work for the people!

    August 27, 2009 at 4:23 pm |
  139. CB

    While that's a nice idea to entertain, it's not very realistic. The real question is whether corporate bureaucracy can ever be stopped. Sadly, the answer is no. Wake up, please.

    August 27, 2009 at 4:23 pm |
  140. Mike, Orlando, FL

    Jack,
    I seriously doubt that the death of even a great man will change the minds of the greedy that everyone should get the chance to live, especially if it might cost them their next mega-toy.

    August 27, 2009 at 4:23 pm |
  141. Jerry - Fountain CO

    Sadly, I don't think so. With Kennedy's passing we have lost the only person in Congress who really cared about the people. I don't think there are any Lions left. Just some sheep & chickens.

    August 27, 2009 at 4:23 pm |
  142. Katiec Pekin, IL

    Am afraid it will never happen, Jack.
    When you have a political party whose goal is to destroy the President of the United States, regardless of how beneficial any issue could be for the American people, than there is not much hope of any support of what is best for our country.
    It is truly sad what our politicans have become.

    August 27, 2009 at 4:23 pm |
  143. Paul

    Would a man have to lay down his life to enforce what is universally sane in this country? It would be fitting to give the late industrious senator a restful end to his remarkable journey.

    August 27, 2009 at 4:23 pm |
  144. Dorothy, Kentucky

    The Republicans have no intent of compromising on healthcare or anything else. The second coming of Christ would not change that. but I do believe the Democrats will pass a bill in honor of Senator Kennedy. I do think you are going to see a real change in tone by the Democrats. No more of this shrill, high pitched infantile behavior that's good for the TV cameras. Senator Kennedy has already stolen some of the GOP thunder.

    August 27, 2009 at 4:23 pm |
  145. wally of Va

    I don't know Jack. There is such mean spiritedness in Washington that there would have to be a complete change in attitudes. There is no reason on earth why Congress can't come up with a bill that meets its goals to cover all citizens and at the same time protects the budget. It would however require some real work and unfortunately these people are about talk and very little action.

    Think about it Jack. About 10 % of the bills introduced ever get passed. What does that tell you. These people pretty much get paid for nothing. I think we should reduce their salaries, eliminate their perks and lo and behold, we might be able to make a dent in the deficit.

    August 27, 2009 at 4:23 pm |
  146. Carol Ann

    Only if the Republicans will get over their pity party and actually work "with" the Democrats on behalf of the public, and stop destroying everything that needs to be accomplished. Thanks Jack

    August 27, 2009 at 4:23 pm |
  147. Scott - Marietta, GA

    I don't have much hope for the Republicans. The level of despicable hate that Rush Limbaugh spewed out about Kennedy's passing only serves to alienate and divide us all. The real hope is that Kennedy's passing will motivate Democrats to come together and do what is right for the country and pass the Kennedy health care bill with the public option.

    August 27, 2009 at 4:24 pm |
  148. ken

    Kennedy's death will not bring bipartisanship to the senate. The senators who are against the public health care option will not change because they are owned by the health insurance lobby. Their right wing base are mostly diddo heads and they will not change. It is sad but true

    August 27, 2009 at 4:24 pm |
  149. Steve Levine

    For all our sake, I hope I'm wrong, but nothing - NOTHING - can penetrate the neanderthal thinking of Republicans and sway them to do the right thing; it just isn't in their DNA.

    And nothing can shake the feckless Harry Reid, Nancy Pelosi and, I'm afraid, our President, to take the strong stand that Senator Kennedy did on every issue that aroused his passsion.

    Now is the time for Obama to put in a new spine and borrow some steel from his Secretary of State. And some thunder from Ted Kennedy.

    Steve
    Jericho, NY

    August 27, 2009 at 4:24 pm |
  150. Nathan in VA

    It's probably only going to make a difference In the overall attitudes of those against health care reform, specifically in toning down the noise.... Should be just enough though to get something done on this bill.

    August 27, 2009 at 4:24 pm |
  151. Herman Newsom

    Jack,

    If healthcare fails in any way, even watered down, there will be hell to pay at the polls in all three braches of government. As is stands today, the right is all in a tizzy, we are watching closely to through all those who appose or do not fight for healthcare for all and true reform. We don’t care what the pundits are saying about the center and left of America.

    Herman Newsom
    Riverside, CA

    August 27, 2009 at 4:24 pm |
  152. Todd

    I really do hope so. I've heard about the proposal of naming a health care bill after Senator Kennedy, and I don't have a problem with that, just not what's been proposed so far. I think it would be beneficial for both parties, and more importantly America, if everyone came back and started a new bill from scratch bearing the name and spirit of Senator Kennedy. Have your principles and fight for them, but respect other's principles at the same time and figure out a way to work together and compromise for the sake of the whole country. You can play politics, that never stops, and do what's best for our nation at the same time, it's been done before and should be done again right now.

    August 27, 2009 at 4:25 pm |
  153. Mary Jo

    Who cares about bipartisanship at this point? I believe were Senator Kennedy alive today and able to take part in this debate, he would do whatever it takes to get a strong bill passed which meets the criteria set out by the President in order to achieve real health care reform. If there are sitting Democrats in the House and Senate who cannot find it in their hearts to support such a bill, it is my fervent hope that they will be booted out of office and referred to as Republicans henceforth. If Republicans do not want to support health care reform that is meaningful, they can and should be left standing on the side of the road to represent that small group of citizens who still believe that the only way to solve any problem is to prop up big business, to include the insurance companies.

    August 27, 2009 at 4:25 pm |
  154. Jim S - Lansdale PA

    Jack, I certainly hope so. I am a 52 year old unemployed man on COBRA right now thanks to Senator Kennedy. I have been crying inside sine the news of his passing.....I am so thankful for what he has done for the U.S.

    August 27, 2009 at 4:25 pm |
  155. louise simpson

    Ted Kennedy always planted the seeds for us. We just need to water them and watch them grow.

    August 27, 2009 at 4:25 pm |
  156. Dee Kotinas

    It is time for health reform with a public option with or without
    Ted Kennedy's help and inspiration. Millions of people go
    without health care. This is a third country attitude. Give us
    all a break and cross over the isles and get on with this
    vital job. Our economy and humanity depends on what we
    do about health care reform.

    August 27, 2009 at 4:25 pm |
  157. Emma, San Luis Obispo

    Well Jack you as heck would hope so but do the words ignorant morans mean anything? If they don't get behind this bill in honor of Senator Kennedy whose life long dream it was to provide healthcare to all Americans not just the privileged few, then all I can say is, "Hell hath no fury like democracy scorned." And it will be known that democrats are weak and stupid..............I don't think any democrat will ever vote again, ever because it won't mean a thing to have a majority in both houses and a democratic president in the Whitehouse, ever again!

    August 27, 2009 at 4:25 pm |
  158. pat rose

    No, Jack. Nothing is going to make the Republicans support any kind of health care bill. They are like feudal lords of old, keeping their workers down so they will accept any little crumb. Heaven forbid they should allow them health care or anything else that relieves their dependency on the pittance their employers are willing to pay.

    August 27, 2009 at 4:25 pm |
  159. Phil Conrad

    With the Republican and Democrats so polorized I can't see anything get bi-partison support let alone Health Care. In fact I don't think either party knows what bi-partisonship is, its their way or the highway period.

    August 27, 2009 at 4:26 pm |
  160. Ken in Florida

    No, Kennedy's passing won't bring any Republicans on board with anything to improve the health insurance mess we are now in.
    The Republican agenda is always to oppose anything the Democrats try to do, especially if it designed to improve the lives of the common working class and/or retired people.

    August 27, 2009 at 4:26 pm |
  161. Adam Simi Valley, CA

    Ted Kennedy himself received the best healthcare in the world. They kept him alive from the moment they discovered his cancer by scourign the world for the best physicians. His insurance plan, of course would not be available to the average citizen when socialized medicine comes to fruitition. The Ted Kennedy Bill will be a far cry from the Ted Kennedy personal insurance option.

    August 27, 2009 at 4:26 pm |
  162. Andrew J. Levesque

    Senator Kennedy's passing will unfortunately cement his temporary absence. Blue dogs seemed to answer to Republicans more than to Democrats. and still continue to filibuster in either case. Kennedy was not present. I can't see how his death could heal the rift now.

    August 27, 2009 at 4:26 pm |
  163. el

    Hi Jack

    I would like to believe that the GOP and those Dems who are on the fence with regards to HCR, come forth and support President Obama. But honestly, given the antics of the GOP as of late, I truly believe they will not support the HCB, which is tragic for everyone. I suspect the Lion will be roaring from Heaven WHEN this much needed Bill passes, with or without the help of the GOP

    el

    August 27, 2009 at 4:27 pm |
  164. Sharon in Canada

    For all Americans' sake, I hope so!

    August 27, 2009 at 4:27 pm |
  165. Dan in Florida

    I wish it would Jack, but I don't give it much of a shot. With the vile behavior of the republican party in the past decade how could we think they would act in any positive light? I believe the republican party can be summed up by the following: "Even though a snake sheds its skin periodically; underneath it's still the same old snake."

    August 27, 2009 at 4:27 pm |
  166. James Johnson

    Yes Jack

    I hear the Republicans talking about a fair fight. Was it a fair fight when insurance companies denied coverage to our citizen which has caused many to die.

    August 27, 2009 at 4:27 pm |
  167. Jorge

    Can it? I don't know. Should it? No. This issue is far too important to allow sentimentality to play a role. We should be for or against healthcare reform based on facts, not because the Democrats conveniently say we should "do it for Teddy."

    Jorge
    Coral Gables, FL

    August 27, 2009 at 4:27 pm |
  168. Judy

    I was born in MA 1959 – that is Kennedy Country – no doubt. Three years ago I moved to Florida. I miss the Red Sox, Fenway Park, and today, the Ted Kennedy memorial procession.

    Yes, if Obama invokes Ted's name well enough and appropriately enough – there will be movement for the bill. The country needs health care it ought to get done, America derserves that, Ted Kennedy deserves that.

    August 27, 2009 at 4:27 pm |
  169. Suzanne, Cambridge MA

    jack, All I can think as I watch this motorcade through Boston and Cambridge is that the ignorant and vocal likes of Sarah Palin and Sean Hannity can never bring themselves to acknowledge that there wouldn't be a United Staes without Massachusetts and the vilified "East Coast Liberals."

    God bless my difficult adopted home, and God bless America for giving birth to this noble and difficult man.

    August 27, 2009 at 4:27 pm |
  170. frankwatkins

    it doesn't matter who dies or is resurrected,nothing will pass.too many clown running this circus

    August 27, 2009 at 4:27 pm |
  171. Cecil Jones

    Healthcare reform is a "National Security Issue" and the GOP could be shooting their party in the foot. It's 9-11 time and soon they will start screaming "The Sky is Falling." Rudy crawled out from under his rock and someone will eventually realize if we get attacked we will all need equal access to penicillin. Last time terror used Anthrax only Democrats and the Liberal Media needed it. I can't figure that one out. Healthcare will pass in spite of Kennedy death. It's the National Security Stupid.

    August 27, 2009 at 4:28 pm |
  172. Wayne

    No Jack, since Senator Orrin Hatch was asked that question and his response was a form of "are you kidding me?" There will be a pause in this fight and everyone will pay their respects to Senator Kennedy, then it's back to business as usual. There are just too many special interests in play, and a desire on the part of some Republicans to thwart any health care reform that is put forth by President Obama.

    August 27, 2009 at 4:28 pm |
  173. elaine Siddall

    Congress have excellent health insurance, only when that is taken away will the congress vote on health care for all. Why should they change things when they have no worries about their own health care.

    August 27, 2009 at 4:28 pm |
  174. Trish

    I think we all need to realize that none of us are perfect, nor do any of us lead perfect lives...but we need to appreciate the people we love each and every day while they are with us on this earth, showing them and telling them how much we love and respect each other...for there will come a day, when will be unable to do so.

    Senator Kennedy wasn't a perfect man, but he fought tooth and nail to try to make this country a better place for all of us. We should all strive to practice the caring and committment that Sen. Kennedy had for helping people and try to implement those values in our own lives. RIP "Papa Bear".... we will miss you.

    August 27, 2009 at 4:29 pm |
  175. Gary H. Boyd

    No Jack, just the opposite. The Democrat's 60 vote lock on the Senate is now gone which opens the door to filibuster. Bipartisanship is just a six dollar word used by politicians when speaking before the cameras. Fact is, bipartisanship only occurs during the wee hours of the 3rd Monday after a full moon. The next full moon occurs on September 4th which means there are only 4 times remaining this year when bipartisanship can occur.

    Gary in Scottsdale, Arizona

    August 27, 2009 at 4:29 pm |
  176. Faye

    I believe that the healthcare plan will work out for us.

    The Obama Administration needs a chance to organize the Healthcare Reform just like the rest of the presidents that were given a chance before him. Rome was not built in a day.

    If you are a Republican or a Democrat we should all work together for the American People.

    Houston, Texas

    August 27, 2009 at 4:29 pm |
  177. Maria

    Hi Jack, I cannot beleive the Republicans is so cruel to poor people. Name me a Republican close to Ted Kenedy's legacy. NONE. I think they needs to wake up. They harden their hearts towards poor people. God will deal with them.

    August 27, 2009 at 4:29 pm |
  178. Dennis North Carolina

    republicans show only respect to money, greed and the rich so i would only expect more negativity on health care. Edward Kennedy had respect for human life so he would cross the lines to help people, we should show respect to him but i would not wait for the republicans.

    August 27, 2009 at 4:29 pm |
  179. Mike Glen Rock PA

    I think that the only way that Senator Kennedy's death will influence bipartisanship on this bill is through the media coverage and exposure that the bill will get during coverage of Senator Kennedy's death. Hopefuly it helps to educate angry Americans that have a lot to say about the bill and really know very little about it, then they may stop protesting a bill that this country really needs.

    August 27, 2009 at 4:29 pm |
  180. Charlie in NJ

    No. Democrats are not interested in bipartisanship on this issue. They want everything with no compromise even though they know this country can not afford it. This has got nothing to do with Kennedy.

    August 27, 2009 at 4:29 pm |
  181. Ray Adams, Montgomery Al

    It could, sure, but no. Too many idiots on the hill.

    August 27, 2009 at 4:30 pm |
  182. Mickie

    It can and it should, but no, Senator Kennedy's death will not move Republicans closer to cooperation. Republicans had a chance to vote for his bill in the HELP committee and they didn't. They knew then that he suffered from a terminal condition and that health care reform was the cause of his life. Senators Hatch and McCain in recent interviews both lamented Kennedy's absence in the process, saying they felt he would have brought about true bipartisanship, yet both voted NO on his bill. Republicans only want to destroy reform efforts and delegitimize Obama's presidency.

    August 27, 2009 at 4:30 pm |
  183. Viola

    Secondly, people with insurance and wealthy could less about the lower class people getting healthcare. The only thing that change these people mind is that someone close to them got seriously or terminally ill and lost their insurance and/or lose their job.

    But because some people can afford insurance or continuously covered by their jobs, they JUST DON'T CARE.

    This is a sad time in America. It's like America has stepped back into time machine doing slavery or during the 1900's.

    August 27, 2009 at 4:30 pm |
  184. Lynn, Columbia, Mo..

    The hope still lives, but the Republicans are the party of NO. We shall see.

    August 27, 2009 at 4:30 pm |
  185. Richard Green

    Why in the world would anyone interested in real reform be interested in bipartisanship? What has the GOP put on the table that would reduce insurance costs and increase the number of Americans covered? Sen.Kennedy's death has only been used by the GOP to try and reduce their culpability for the sad state of progress on the health reform bills. Jesus Christ could take Kennedy's spot and He still couldn't get a single Republican to vote for anything that resembled reform.

    Rich Green
    San Clemente, Cal.

    August 27, 2009 at 4:31 pm |
  186. David

    Bipartisanship is a one way street for the democrats.......we watch the news, we have memories and we do remember.........

    August 27, 2009 at 4:31 pm |
  187. Junior Gilson

    Senator Kennedy's death is already being utilized to ensure passage by Nancy Pelosi. Does she ever have any feelings for any American citizen or does she only believe in stopping the raids against the illegal immigrants?

    As always the elected officials in this government will only vote for something that has dollar signs on the bill for their pockets. The corruption is wild. Nancy Pelosi and the Insurance Companies are probably speaking with each other at this very minute. Out with the incumbants and in with the Middle class who have lived the rocky road of life.

    Health care reform will be pushed now due to sympathy for the Kennedy family if Nancy Pelosi has anything to do with it.

    JR Florida

    August 27, 2009 at 4:31 pm |
  188. pearsondg

    One thousand (1000) pages written by democrat lobbyists is far from bi-partisan. The republicans have not been consulted on any of this legislation, yet they are being vilified for their criticism.
    Obama and the far left have an agenda that the majority of voters are against, however, they still seem intent on cramming it through regardless.
    Ted Kennedy was a great senator who fought for good causes, but in death, even he cannot bridge this chasm.

    August 27, 2009 at 4:31 pm |
  189. Ruth in High Point NC

    Jack,

    To pass healthcare the President, the Senate, and the House need to bring 50% of our manufacturing jobs back to America.

    Working Americans can afford their own healthcare insurance with the help of their employer.

    Putting Americans back to gainful employment will increase the tax base our government needs to run the country.

    Added tax dollars will enable this administration to start paying off our huge deficit, help America become an industrial giant, make the American dream attainable again, and let the United States become "a beacon of hope for the rest of the world" once again.

    It will save money, create new jobs, and help pay off our debts. Now, try telling me that doesn't make sense!

    August 27, 2009 at 4:31 pm |
  190. Deena Silver

    I am afriad that Senator Kennedy's death will not make a difference because we do not have many statesmen in our Congress. We have too many politicians who care much more about their own reelection than doing what is best for the American people.

    August 27, 2009 at 4:31 pm |
  191. Kevin in GA

    Jack, " The Dream Lives On. " I don't expect much out of those Partisan Lawmakers in D.C. They have become ideologically ridgid!!! Such a Shame.

    August 27, 2009 at 4:32 pm |
  192. Gary - Woodhaven, Michigan

    Sen. Kennedy's death unfortunately will not bring the coming together of men and women for a common good.

    As long as we live in a society of "us and them" we will never remove the walls of the absolute.

    It is when we decide to build the city of man, tear down the walls of the city of the absolute will we come together as a people. And this will require each and everyone of us to change from people of constrictions to people of compassion.

    It will require hope and the lose of the self-enclosure of despair.

    August 27, 2009 at 4:32 pm |
  193. Brooks - Towson, MD

    Teddy's legacy is bipartisanship, being able to compromise on difficult issues, passing a Health Care Bill is just icing on the cake. Who's going to step up to the plate and follow in his footsteps?

    August 27, 2009 at 4:32 pm |
  194. Jan SC

    It should cause them ALL to assess themselves and their motives.
    The only way it could possibly work is if the grown ups take over
    and just crack the door with an open mind and try. Ask themselves how they can try to come together and compromise like Kennedy
    would do. I don't know the Senior statesmen well enough to choose who I would like but maybe Orin Hatch,Lindsey Graham,Sen. Byrd,
    Sen. Kerry etc. If they do not they should be ashamed to call themselves this Nation's Senior statesmen

    August 27, 2009 at 4:32 pm |
  195. James E. Ryza

    For the love of God I hope so but with the capitalist minded people we
    have today I doubt it. I remember when I would be involved in contract
    negotions and people had such a bitter taste in their mouths for unions yet from 1980 to 2007, .01 % of the top people injoyed increases of (7) fold while workers saw only 22%. Senator Kennedy understood the true meaning of humanity. Most other politicians make their minds up from information from people who can afford to lobby and give large amounts to campaign contributions. If anyone honestly believes those big shots care anything in the world for the little guys and their rights, well, they are in trouble. I do not want to see the government getting involved in everything, but this is one area
    that if they don't, no one else will.

    August 27, 2009 at 4:32 pm |
  196. Jenny, Canada.

    August 27th, 2009 4:31 pm ET
    Your comment is awaiting moderation. (typo fixed below:)

    I dearly, dearly hope so. There simply isn’t an excuse for America to have one of the worst infant mortality rates in the modern world. Teddy Kennedy said this was “the cause of his life.” If all is right and good in he world Americans will work together and see the wisdom in realizing this dream. He was a good sweet man. May he rest in peace.

    August 27, 2009 at 4:32 pm |
  197. CNR, NJ

    Senator Ted Kennedy was a very respectful individual in Washington and across United States of America. His determination to make things better for the people was outstanding. Therefore his death should be considered and be a positive effect on the healthcare reform.

    August 27, 2009 at 4:32 pm |
  198. Sly Mills

    If more ordinary working poor Amaricans were to know what this Gaint Kennedy has done to change lives, there would be much less people going against the proposed health care reform. Fairwell Gaint.

    August 27, 2009 at 4:32 pm |
  199. cece newman

    Unfortunately no. Why would the death of one man, as great as he was, bring compassion to the republicans, when so many people die every day because of no health care. Compassion isn't their style.

    August 27, 2009 at 4:33 pm |
  200. john wilhelm

    it would be nice to see bipartisonship in congress but......i'm afraid
    that died long before ted kennedy did. theres all to much"whats in
    it for me"mentality with those idiots on capital hill. untill they get back to
    a government for the people,by the people, well then it just aint gonna
    happen.

    August 27, 2009 at 4:33 pm |
  201. Linda White

    I remember the sinking sadness of the day President John Kennedy was shot -as a college sophomore.
    I remember the horror of the day tha MLK was show- as a first year teacher and newlywed.
    I remember the utter disbelief when Bobby Kennedy was shot- as I cradled a newborn baby boy.
    I am only imagine and plead for us to come together to reconcile, negotiate and listen to each other to pass health care reform.
    That's a day I want to remember !!

    August 27, 2009 at 4:34 pm |
  202. Dee in Florida

    I certainly hope so.

    But what puzzles me is why you say "revive" the spirit of bipartisanship. From where I sit, that horse has been dead for a LONG time.

    August 27, 2009 at 4:34 pm |
  203. Rickardo Gunawardena

    Yes Jack ! Since he was the 2nd oldest standing senator in the Senate & lived to see roughly about 3,500 bills pass in the congress.If Senators from both sides of the Isle,who has an ounce of decensy & a ,honest conscience.They would atleast have the guts & the boldness to pass a total comprihensive healthcare bill,in total due respect to the late Senator Edward Kennedy..This would have certainly been the last wish the late Edward Kennedy would have wished & wanted to happen.

    August 27, 2009 at 4:34 pm |
  204. Harry

    I could really care less how the obstructionist republicans line up on the health care issue but with 60(-1) votes in the Senate and a huge majority in the House it is time for the liberal(and proud of it) wing of the Democatic Party to hold those so called "blue dog's", and any others who might be waffling, acoountable. They might believe they need to appeal to conservatives to win their next election but I know absolutely they cannot win without the support of moderates and liberals and if they cannot support a health care plan without a responsable public option then we the public should not support them. Let us make Teddy proud and get this bill passed!!!-HarryO

    August 27, 2009 at 4:34 pm |
  205. Kay in WV

    No. Unfortunately the death of Teddy Kennedy is also the death of the old style of politics where people not parties were in control. In today's politics it is all about winning and if you can't win, losing from some mythical 'high ground' in order to win reelection; not about compromise and moving legislation forward. Both parties and their fundraising machines have become too powerful for any individual member of congress to buck their system; Sen. Kennedy could do it because in many ways he was bigger than his party.

    August 27, 2009 at 4:35 pm |
  206. EM

    No, the issue affects too many personally. The CBO says the costs are unsustainable and the language of the bill is left to interpretation of others. Also, the obscene spending is a huge concern for responsible Americans.

    August 27, 2009 at 4:35 pm |
  207. Kathie Curd

    The GOP will continue to be the party of NO...Kennedy or no Kennedy. I personally would hope that Ted Kennedy will now be an inspiration for the Dems to get fired up and get the health insurance/care reform done!

    August 27, 2009 at 4:36 pm |
  208. JOHN (Maryland)

    Kennedy is the last of the old timers who knew how to get things done. I doubt if there is a Republican or Democrat in Congress who has the kind of respect that Kennedy had from his Congressional compatriots. Both parties would do well to study his methods and willingness to work with both parties to get a job done.

    By the way, I was not a great fan of Kennedy's political views, but I respect him for his integrity and willingness to work with others. Also I don't believe he ever tried to ram something down the country's throat like this current set of legislators.

    August 27, 2009 at 4:36 pm |
  209. Thomas Fisher

    The passing of Senator Kennedy is indeed a great loss to America and the American way of life. It's time ( and long past due) for all in congress to carry on the Kennedy spirit and refrain from politics as usual, stop the fear mongering perpetrated by the commercial insurance industry, reach across the aisle, and do what is necessary to ensure that all Americans have access to affordable healthcare. Senator Kennedy had the right idea – Medicare, cradle to grave.

    August 27, 2009 at 4:37 pm |
  210. Eric, Portland Oregon

    Anything done as a "win one for the Gipper" bill will hopefully be shot down in flames.

    What America and her CITIZENS deserve is an honest, straightforward, well written bill that looks forward. Where those writing it do it in a way that an average 8th grader can understand and in a way that doesn't try to pull the wool over the eyes of anyone.

    What we DESERVE is true reform, not some Utopian pipe dream.

    What we DEMAND is an end to the lawsuit lottery and the defensive medical practices it encourages, and SEVERE (long term, hard labor imprisonment) punishment for doctors who continually injure patients.

    What we DEMAND is that those in this country LEGALLY (including tourists if need be) have health care but those who enter by breaking the law, regardless of how or why or the status of their children, be PROHIBITED from benefiting from this bill; we will patch you up and put an immigration hold on you for deportation.

    I am all for better health care and for having it more affordable but not at the expense of the entire country.

    August 27, 2009 at 4:37 pm |
  211. Becky

    We can only hope. Someone said that Ted Kennedy had his demons and his angels and the angles won out. I wish that could be true of the Repulicans and the Blue dogs.

    Becky
    Murfreesboro, TN

    August 27, 2009 at 4:37 pm |
  212. Rick Marsh

    Jack-

    Wouldn't it be fitting that the passing of Ted Kennedy would bring the Congressional 'bickering' to a halt! We elect our government to serve us, and yet they serve themselves and the power-brokers that control them! I pray that Congress realizes that when we support and strengthen our weakest and neediest, the entire structure is made whole! If they cannot get these vital issues solved and made right, then God help them and God help this country! Where have our ideals and dreams gone?!

    August 27, 2009 at 4:37 pm |
  213. Coach D in Mt. Vernon, NY

    If it does, great! But more importantly his death seemingly needs to encourage more togetherness within the Democratic Party. The Party has a great opportunity here. Come together, do this bill in Kennedy's name, and present it on BOTH floors of the Senate and the House. And then force the Republican party to vote NO and filabuster it, or get on board in a constructive way. Either way, the Party can avoid its historical penchant of shooting itself in the foot when they're in power by doing something that is needed, as well as do justice to the memory of Sen. Kennedy.

    August 27, 2009 at 4:37 pm |
  214. Ted Logan

    Among my conservative associates, whose number I try to keep to a minimum, it is an article of faith that healthcare is not a right because it's not in the Constitution. Kennedy said it is a right. Republicans will never agree, which makes healthcare reform bipartisanship impossible. If all the Democrats in Congress had real courage, they could do it alone, but that could mean some of them losing their seats, so it just ain't gonna happen.

    August 27, 2009 at 4:38 pm |
  215. Kristin

    Although I am Canadian, I am well aware of the contribution that the Kennedy family has made to the world. In memory of Ted Kennedy, Americans need to do the right thing and pass Health Care Reform. We can all learn from Senator Kennedy's ability to 'reach across the aisle' and begin to practice this in our own communities and political parties. Americans – do not let the passing of an incredible, brilliant man go in vain, pass Health Care and ensure Uncle Teddy's 'dream will never die'.

    August 27, 2009 at 4:38 pm |
  216. Steve Koehler

    Angry Republicans are still smarting after the election loss last November and want to punish America by defeating any health care reform. Democrats are too anxious to cash in on their "political capital" from the election and ram reform through. If our politicians don't learn compromise from Sen. Kennedy's example, we won't get squat and bankruptcy will be our personal and national legacy.

    Steve
    Tennessee

    August 27, 2009 at 4:39 pm |
  217. Terry

    If any sort of legislation is passed right now in honor of Ted Kennedy, as some are saying, I don't think it will amount to anything more than a simple symbolic nod the former giant. The senate is too divided right now to agree on anything and the only one who could have made everyone realize that to achieve what's best for the people sometimes requires compromise, was Ted Kennedy.

    Terry
    Los Angeles

    August 27, 2009 at 4:39 pm |
  218. Frank

    No Jack I fear not. Bipartisanship is dead in my opinion. Our country is simply too divided. And it doesn't help that every individual Republican and Democrat have there own agendas. Healthcare is also an industry, a business and as long as it's about making as much cash as everybody involved can make nothing will ever change. I'm really worried about my country. What's happened to us?

    Charlotte, NC

    August 27, 2009 at 4:39 pm |
  219. R.Landschoot

    let the man rest in peace, remember his works, and don't deify him.
    Unfortunately we don't have legislators of similar caliber in office today. Their only interest lies is whats in it for them, public be darned

    bobl pine city ny

    August 27, 2009 at 4:39 pm |
  220. Edward B. Pearson

    I truly hope that Senator Kennedy's dreem of national helth cair is fullfilled. We are the greatist Country in the world mostly becouse we have become the police man to the world. We out spend the next 10 richest countries in the world together on millitary. I won't debate how much of that is justified, and I will say I am proud of our millitary, but I will say as I believe Ted would have said that our people don't deserve to have a helth cair system ranked 37th where minimum wadge workers can't aford any form of helth cair. Also if they were to get sick they would have to quit work and go on state aid to be covered. Sad Sad Sad that Ted did not live to see this change.
    Ed Pearson

    August 27, 2009 at 4:40 pm |
  221. Jerry,OK

    Jack, Most Republicans hate anything named Kennedy, so don't look for Republican help with Teddy's life long cause (Healthcare Reform). Also, Republicans make up a large part of the Blue Dog's constituency, so Blue dogs will have to weigh there interest vs the countries...

    Real Democrats will have to go it alone.

    Jerry Wilson

    August 27, 2009 at 4:40 pm |
  222. JIM FALLBROOK CA

    Not a chance. It will be enacted by the Democrats and forced down teh American People's throats. It is just the beginning of Obama shafting the middle class.

    August 27, 2009 at 4:41 pm |
  223. Quaye

    Jack, I strongly believe that Sen Kennedy's passing will foster unity between the Publican and the Domocrat in reaching a general consensus to this heavily debated healthcare bill. Also, jack, thank for airing the views and concerns of those of us who support the passing of the healthcare bill now rather then prostphoning it which is what the Rpublicans wants to do through their scare tactic techniques supported heavily by lobbist to misinform the general public.

    Pittsburgh, PA

    August 27, 2009 at 4:41 pm |
  224. Donna Colorado Springs,Co

    Out of respect for the late Senator Kennedy, the party of "NO" should rein in their anger and stubborness and try to work with the president to pass this healthcare bill. As for the Democrats who are acting as badly as the Republicans are, I have no use for them or their problems with the bill!

    August 27, 2009 at 4:42 pm |
  225. Rich P in Boston

    Now that, would be a real tribute

    August 27, 2009 at 4:42 pm |
  226. Debra~Arizona

    I doubt it. I was at a health care reform rally in Phoenix last night.
    The "anti" reform crowd were waving a confederate flag.
    I believe the divide goes much deeper than just health care reform.

    August 27, 2009 at 4:43 pm |
  227. Randy, Newark, Oh

    No! There will be no bipartisanship. A great senator has passed away, but unfortunately that will NOT keep Queen Nancy from doing or saying something to kill any chance of bipartisan work on health care reform.

    I'm betting she won't even wait until he is buried. Want to give me any odds on that Jack?

    August 27, 2009 at 4:43 pm |
  228. Barb from Hazel Crest, IL

    Are you kidding, NO, this great man’s death won't be able to get bipartisanship from the republicans, but it might reunify the democratics. At least I hope so because the world has lost a great fighter for the underdog and we have no one else to fight for us.

    August 27, 2009 at 4:43 pm |
  229. David

    senator kennedy's best bipartisan legacy: NO child left behind.

    August 27, 2009 at 4:44 pm |
  230. amholmes

    I sincerely hope so, even risking the popular notion that it is a 'lost cause;.
    Senator Kennedy understood how blessed he was to be able to afford whatever medical care he needed and that he was wise enough to give his support to those who would attempt to ensure that every one of your citizens be given access to medical care, is a testament to how he was not blinded by his own privileged status in life.
    I would hope that Senator Kennedy's passing would serve as a reminder of how short our time is upon this earth, and how his passionate support of health care for all might force people to recognize how important this cause is.

    August 27, 2009 at 4:44 pm |
  231. E. Deason

    Teddy Kennedy and his family has brought many years of debate concerning the lives of not only the working families, but for the elderly, poor, and minorities of our country. For Democrats or Republicans to say NO to an open and honest debate on health care in American would be a great loss. Consider a man who spent his life fighting for a better life for others and even joined hands on both sides of the isle to bring such great progress to our Country. He did this even after the loss of family who have given their own lives for this great country. It would be unthinkable not to work together for a man who spent his life in Congress, a President of the United States, an Attorney General running for President and the list goes on of lives that the Kennedys have sacrificed for America.

    My prayers and thanks go to the Kennedy Family.

    E. Deason

    August 27, 2009 at 4:46 pm |
  232. gordon

    If bipartisanship breaks out because of Senator Kennedy's death, I'll be disappointed. If, however, his death causes Senators to set aside their prejudiced views and work for an appropriate health care reform, I'll be delighted... but I'm not placing any bets.

    August 27, 2009 at 4:46 pm |
  233. Jerry from Monroe Co. WV

    It would be a fitting memorial to Senator Kennedy to see bipartisanship in healthcare reform. The public option could be called the Kennedy option. Any bill without that option would not be worthy of his name.

    August 27, 2009 at 4:46 pm |
  234. marian

    Jack
    We all have lived through life with either an aged parent, uncle and and aunty whose last wish we dare not sweep aside when they die. The great LION of the needy has fought all his life for this. In one this many oration, he reminded us that no one should be denied decent and fair health care because he lacks the means. He calls this a moral obligation. This was at the core of his work. He and his family gave us the best they had. It is therefore morally compelling that we fulfill his two last wishes: fair health care coverage for all; nominate someone instantly to occupy his seat and serve the rest of his term. It is not enough for conservatives to say "we also want healthcare coverage for all and argue that Teddy would have been willing to cut a half deal", it is the time for them to truly search in their hearts what this GREAT LION of the senate truly wanted and grant his last wish. He said it time and time again, "the fight for the well being of the common man(including the provision of healthcare for all) has been the fight of my life." He has worked and ploughed this field with valor, he has planted the seeds. We must let these seeds which are beginning to spring up to blossom with vibrant light. Adieu great LION, the great fighter, the great pacifier. Your roars will continue to echo in our lives and our communities. We love you. Rest in tranquil peace in the LORD's own hands. To the entire Kennedy family, my deepest and heart felt condolence. Keep the dream alive!!!

    August 27, 2009 at 4:47 pm |
  235. Lois Campbell

    I would like to hope that Healthcare reform is passed ,not because of Senator Kennedy's death, but because of his life's work. I have a rare chronic disease that has cost me over $25,000 @ year for the past 6 years. That is after our good independent $700 @ month insurance with a $5,000 deductible each. My husband and I have exhausted all avenues of finance and are now in line to lose our retirement. As taxpayers, we pay for all government employees healthcare and retirement, which is run by the government. I wonder how much money could be raised for healthcare if government employee deductibles could be raised, just a little. I also wonder how many of those against government run healthcare are willing to give up medicare. All I ask is a chance to buy the same insurance as those our taxes pay for.

    August 27, 2009 at 4:47 pm |
  236. Gloria

    Don't think so. The administration did not launch this bill in a coordinated, comprehensive, coherent manner. Needed a single voice with clear parameters. The president has squandered opportunities to rally the troops and control the progression of the bill through the committees. At best a watered down bill with little impact may make it through. This may be Obama's "Bay of Pigs".

    August 27, 2009 at 4:48 pm |
  237. Ron Whiteman

    As much as I'd like to see bipartisanship on ANY issue today, I'm afraid that the GOP has committed itself to torpedoing any effort to help anyone but their lobbyists and fatcat supporters. I've travelled to Europe, Japan, and Australia and seen how their health and social systems work and I'm amazed by how totally unaware far-right middle-class Americans are about what they're missing out on. They've been convinced, partially by their prejudices, partially by their blind obedience to far-right principles (is that an oxymoron?), and partially by the lies fed to them by Rush, Bill O', Anne C., and their ilk, that they can't recognize that they're the victims of true far-right reactionism, much like the Germans who were used by Joseph Goebbels and Adolf Hitler in Nazi Germany.

    August 27, 2009 at 4:48 pm |
  238. chris

    NO (Teddy) Ted Kennedy was the only person who could get bi-partisan bills passed. Now that he is gone does anyone actually think nanci pelocy can actually take his place and pass health care? I DONT THINK SO!!!!!!!!

    August 27, 2009 at 4:51 pm |
  239. Alisa - Littleton, CO

    I would like to think that yes, bipartisanship could be put aside for a moment so our public servants can do what is right for the majority of Americans – this is what Ted would have fought for – but I don't think that will really happen.
    The rich and powerful will get what they want, again, thanks to the Republicans. The working poor will continue to suffer, and insurance premiums, health care costs and "medical-bill bankruptcy" rates will continue to rise for the rest of us.
    Lately it has been my assertion that a capitalistic democracy has become impossible, because these days the greed of the few almost always wins politically over the needs of the many. If real health care reform does come to pass, I will be able to believe again that democracy is working in the United States, and I will finally be proven wrong. I have never before in my life wanted so much to be wrong.

    August 27, 2009 at 4:53 pm |
  240. Patricia

    The depth of the bitterness and ignorance of the anti-moderates runs deeper than I ever imagined. No, the death of Edward Kennedy will have no real impact on bi-partisan efforts to bring about health care. In fact, I'm sure the conservatives are celebrating.

    Boise

    August 27, 2009 at 4:54 pm |
  241. Missy M, Phoenix

    Given Sen. Kennedy's history with the insurance companies - he once called them evil - I have a hard time accepting that he truly supported a plan that would mandate all Americans purchase health insurance. Definitely, the insurance industry needs reform. Definitely, we need to find a way to ensure that all Americans can afford health care, but the bills currently being discussed go against everything Sen. Kennedy has fought for over the years - it gives big insurance and big pharma all the power. To truly honor Sen. Kennedy's vision, it would be best to go back to the drawing board and write the insurance companies out of any kind of reform proposal.

    August 27, 2009 at 4:54 pm |
  242. Andrew

    If the old mans death doesn't then we may all have to wait till hell frezzes over before we get any change to health care. You know the republicans in this country are acting like terrorist; their way or the high way, right out of the carl rove play book. You withus or against us.

    August 27, 2009 at 4:55 pm |
  243. eugene roberson

    senator kennedy's death will have no effect on the health care debate because this is only about saying no to anything pres.obama wants.it's only the president failing on all his policies.they want this president to fail at all costs.if he proposed tax cuts of fifty percent,they would vote NO.

    August 27, 2009 at 4:55 pm |
  244. C. Farrell, Houston, Tx

    I don't know, but it's going to be interesting to see who will speak first, for or against healthcare reform.

    August 27, 2009 at 4:56 pm |
  245. kathy Niblo

    They should pass the Health care Bill. the way Senator Kennedy and President Obama wanted it to be. We should respect his last wishes. Let some one sign for him . He deserves that much after all he did for all Americans! God have mercy on his sole. Kathy&john.

    August 27, 2009 at 4:57 pm |
  246. Sharon, Rockford, IL

    Unfortunately, I don't think so. The republicans have done a great job of brainwashing the unformed that they now can say proudly that people don't want reform. I can't believe that the majority of the population likes giving 40% of their insurance premiums to salaries and administrative costs. Getting rid of that portion alone will save mone Until the republicans start working for the majority instead of their small-minded base and big corporations, bipartisanship is dead.

    August 27, 2009 at 5:03 pm |
  247. Jackie

    If any member of the Senate has a heart, they will see that this heath care bill be renamed to the Sen. Edward Kennedy Health care bill and passed to honor him for all the hard work and dedicated he has shown to this cause. He was a great man and he worked hard for all americans and he will not be forgotten. The members of the Senate should try to more like him.

    August 27, 2009 at 5:08 pm |
  248. Dan

    When did elections stop having consequences. You can not compromise with people who shout death panels and socialism. Enough. Democrats need to forget the repubs and pass health care reform without them by any means necessary. Period.

    August 27, 2009 at 5:09 pm |
  249. Kevin in GA

    Jack, " The Dream Lives On.". I do not expect the Partisan Lawmakers in D.C. to accomplish a thing in coming together. They are to ideolocally ridgid to come together. What a Shame!!!

    August 27, 2009 at 5:13 pm |
  250. marian

    I am compelled to write this statement having heard some historians indicate that the senator's departure marks the close of that chapter. I beg to differ. Having seen the blessings of this great family, I believe that the next paragraph of this great chapter (the Kennedy Legacy) is destined to written. It may take a pause with the 2nd generation, but I see a vibrant 3rd generation who surely will continue this legacy with vibrant commitment. Theirs is a family blessed with disciplined offsprings with a good heart for the human community . Keep the touch burning and keep the dream alive!!!

    August 27, 2009 at 5:18 pm |
  251. MATTHEW ERNEST TRIPP

    Senator Kennedy did some good things and some bad as well, but adding his name to the health care bill as a way to make everyone get on board wont work. You could name the health care bill 3200 the "John Lennon, Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin and Jesus Health bill" and that still wouldnt help.

    August 27, 2009 at 5:19 pm |
  252. Lloyd

    Not even theTed Kennedy's name can calm the hate over health care.
    The republicans and the blue dogs are not going to give an inch on this legislation.

    Affordable health care is not in our future. We can look forward to more of the same. Plus millions more uninsured in the next few years.

    God help us... because or government won't.

    Lloyd
    Great Falls
    Montana

    August 27, 2009 at 5:20 pm |
  253. george in MD

    jack...jack!
    why are you still kicking this died horse ,heath-care is gone gone...gone!
    why anyone want to have a government operated heath-care ,don't you know it takes 3 or 4government employees to change a single light bulb ,or take look at you're state employees that fix hols in the roads and highways it takes 3tracks and more than 20 employees on a single fixed hole.
    jack...why you want people to have a government run heath-care ,look at how they managed in Iraq and afghanistan isn't that a government programs.
    The president need to think about jobs..jobs...jobs! economy first.

    August 27, 2009 at 5:21 pm |
  254. Jackie in Dallas

    David in Raleigh,

    Don't you mean the Republicans during Bush's Administration? You know, the ones who labeled anyone who didn't agree 110% with them as not being TRUE Americans? The ones who allowed Bush and Cheney to get us into two wars and not demand public accounting for the costs?

    In order to have bipartisanship, you have to have solutions offered by both parties that a compromise can be reached on...with the GOP, all we've heard is lies and NO - no alternative, no suggestions, nothing.

    August 27, 2009 at 5:27 pm |
  255. George A. Klein

    Are you kidding me Jack!

    The Republicans are so "bought & paid for" by the HMOs and the healthcare industry that the GOP will never allow any meaningful healthcare reform.

    We here in the United States paid TWICE as much for healthcare as the second most expensive country in the world and yet almost every other industrialized nation beat us in healthcare. So the question should be..... where is all THAT money going. Just look at all of the HMO skyscrapers in every major city in America for your answer.

    George
    Atlanta, GA

    August 27, 2009 at 5:33 pm |
  256. Thomas Tx.

    No.The GOP does not care about health care reform at all.However, I do feel that the Blue Dog Dems may rethink their objections and come to some sensible middle ground .

    August 27, 2009 at 5:37 pm |
  257. K

    One canonly hope. With the hard line tactics of Pelosi who seems unwilling to compromise let alone listen combined with the millions being poured into derailing health care reform, the muleheadedness of the republicans (who are subsidized by the lobbyists), the lies being promoted by persons like Palin seem to make any effort at health care reform hopeless. It is a pipe dream but wouldn't it be amazing if our elected representatives put aside party lines and actually represented US not the lobbyists who line their pockets.

    August 27, 2009 at 5:43 pm |