August 30th, 2009
11:30 AM ET
2 years ago

Kennedy 'expected more of us' on health care, Dodd says

Sen. Dodd said Sunday that his late friend Sen. Kennedy would be 'terribly disappointed' if partisan politics dominated the health care reform debate.
Sen. Dodd said Sunday that his late friend Sen. Kennedy would be 'terribly disappointed' if partisan politics dominated the health care reform debate.

WASHINGTON (CNN) – A close personal friend of the late Sen. Ted Kennedy said Sunday that the Massachusetts lawmaker’s death ought to act as an inspiration for Democrats and the entire Senate to set aside partisan differences and pass health care legislation.

“We ought to sit down together and work it out and go through this” Connecticut Democrat Sen. Christopher Dodd said on CNN’s State of the Union a day after Kennedy’s funeral. “That’s what we do in the Senate. That’s how things move forward. . . . The country cannot afford this any longer. We need to have a health care plan in this country that’s accessible, affordable, and quality. And how we get there is the challenge before us. And we must meet that challenge. ”

Pointing out that Kennedy introduced his first piece of health care reform legislation roughly 40 years ago, Dodd also said that his friend would be “terribly disappointed” if partisan politics dominated the debate over fixing the nation’s health care system.

“He expected more of us and I think we can meet that expectation and I’m confident we can,” Dodd told CNN Chief National Correspondent John King.

Related video: 'What would Teddy do?'

Republican Sen. Orrin Hatch of Utah, also a close friend of Kennedy’s, suggested that the partisan gulf between the two parties on health care may be too wide to bridge.

Getting a bill passed is “going to take a lot of work,” Hatch said Sunday. The Republican also said it was “crazy” to try to squeeze money out of the Medicare program in order to help fund broader health care reform including a hotly contested public health insurance option.


Filed under: Chris Dodd • Health care • Orrin Hatch • Popular Posts • State of the Union • Ted Kennedy
soundoff (151 Responses)
  1. Pat of N.J.

    @ Jane,
    You sound as though you are an old lady who is not interested in the truth. You will believe anything that the republican party throws out. STOP taking all your advice from talk radio and the Republican Party. This country wants, and needs, health care reform. Obama is not responsible for there being no increase in SS this year, or possibly next. This law was decided many years ago. It has to do with whether there is inflation or not. I, to, am dependent on SS. Worked all my life and payed into it, but I do understand what is going on. Republicans want this to fail so they can continue to get big bucks from the insurance companies and drug companies. They don't care about you and me. The whole problem here is greed and bigotry. Plain and simple.

    August 30, 2009 11:20 am at 11:20 am |
  2. CA

    Ignorance is a lethal weapon use by those who refuse to listen to the facts and are spreading false information simply because they oppose the president. The so call tea party express is nothing but modern day racisim in America. They aren't hiding behind sheets but the ignornace is the same.

    August 30, 2009 11:22 am at 11:22 am |
  3. Doug

    As a poor liberal democrat, I am tired of the millionaire senators telling me wha I need. Maybe if we get them out of our government, we could get our own programs and benefits based on real life. A job and then medical insurance, a job and then benefits makes more sense. The Kennedy obsession in our country has to end.

    August 30, 2009 11:22 am at 11:22 am |
  4. jay in denver

    Although I support President Obama's attempts to reform healthcare, and appreciate that Chris Dodd sincerely feels the loss of his friendship with Ted Kennedy, it seems wrong to invoke the "Please don't let Teddy have died in vain" argument to foster support for votes in favor of proposed healthcare bills. Kennedy worked long and hard on healthcare. Someone in the senate needs to step up and fill the void caused by his death. But with all due respect, Senator Dodd, saying we must pass the bills just to honor Teddy's memory is cheap politics of the Terry Schiavo variety. Keep the debate about methods of reform; it's been too emotionally charged already.

    August 30, 2009 11:24 am at 11:24 am |
  5. Brit

    Pass it for Teddy.

    A TRUE patriot.

    A REAL American.

    August 30, 2009 11:26 am at 11:26 am |
  6. Retired US Army Officer - Kansas

    The debate over health care is all but dead. It is all but dead because of fear. Those opposing healthcare reform are concerned with profits for insurance companies, and major healthcare providers. They could care less about the store clerk, factory worker or retired people of the nation.

    The so called debate is one sided, not because a side has been denied a vioce, but because a side has refused to help in the reform efforts. They have instead attacked what has been proposed rather than offering their own ideas, they have spread rumors and out and out lies that have terrorfied Americans that beleive everything they are told. It is time Americans wake up and start understanding the workings of this Democratic Republic and stop formulating their beleifs based upon fear. We rank number 1 in health care expense per capita, that means per person in the United States, but we rank number 37 in quality health care. This country has been derailed, it is time to get the nation back on track, the only way that this is going to occur is that if our elected leaders in congress start doing their job, that means that they start working together for the good of the nation, not for profit special interest groups. If they are unable to sit down at the table and talk in a civilized manner, replace them. If they promote and spread rummors and lies to the people that put them in office to gain political points replace them.

    The heath care debate has been turned into a total political matter not based upon reason, logic or common sense. It has become a political issue where politics should not be at play. What is right and wrong no longer matters, its which party can scare the most people to their side. This nation has lost its way over the past 20 years by permitting partisan politics to interfer in the workings on our nation. Politics are for the campaign trail, not the defiling rerailer of the US Congress.

    August 30, 2009 11:26 am at 11:26 am |
  7. Socal

    Opposition on this version of healthcare reform is based on the principal of individual choice, and limiting the role of government in our lives. The president can succeed by moving towards the American people, not by trying to impose more government bureaucracy on them.
    For those who like to talk about "sustainable" lifestyles, the whole concept of huge new government programs should be anathema! Just building the new offices, hiring hundreds of thousands of healthcare bureaucrats and printing up their letterhead and business cards would cost a trillion dollars!

    August 30, 2009 11:27 am at 11:27 am |
  8. mairyone

    "A close personal friend of the late Sen. Ted Kennedy said Sunday that the Massachusetts lawmaker’s death ought to act as an inspiration for Democrats"

    How anybody's death can be an inspiration to anything? Nonsense! I would understand if he had talked about Mr Kennedy's living. Death should never be a stalking-horse to political fights and aims.

    August 30, 2009 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
  9. Henry

    I hope that we, as Americans, wake up to this scorched earth concept the GOP has been employing FOR MANY MANY YEARS.
    They are a minority but, because of their loud voices, try to come across as the majority.
    If our Democratic lawmakers do not step up to the plate and make this reform happen, it will be to their detriment. The Republicans will not appreciate them even if they toe the line. The Republicans do not understand compromise; they simply want power and will go to any length to achieve that. They are great at winning elections but terrible at governing. We know all of this already going into any debate with them.
    The Democrats will succeed together or fail together. Make no mistake. Choose your poison, you cowardly Democrats. For once get a backbone and stand up for the people and the party that got you into office.

    August 30, 2009 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
  10. Been There...

    Yep,
    Thats right...It's all about my friends in the insurance industry. I don't know any of their names, but I really love them.
    Sadly, there are some refugees from the 60's in this country that truely believe the above statement. Their own party moderates are blocking any bill but they just have to blame the boogy-man (aka Republican party). At least the GOP has been honest the through this process by denouncing the public take-over. I also planned on attending a town hall meeting but our beloved house rep cancelled at the last minute. Nobody has to pay me to attend...(sound like astro-turf to you?)
    I survived 22 years of government managed healthcare and my wife had an avoidable late term miscarriage and my other child nearly died from a pneumonia misdiagnosis. (there are many other horror stories from the military system)
    Bottom Line: Just expand Medicade for everyone (illegal aliens included) and tax us all into near poverty. That way the rest of us who work hard, pay our taxes and support those that choose not to join us can be LEFT ALONE!! Stop biting the hands that feed you!

    August 30, 2009 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
  11. Mark

    The people who would be helped most by health care reform and other reforms are the people those Republican Senators represent in those red states.

    The problems we have were mainly created by Republicans. You held the presidency for 20 of the last 28 years. You held all or part of Congress for 18 of the last 28 years. You may not like the unpleasant solutions to the problems (guess what – Dems don't like them either) but more of the same will sink this country. Only the evil and the insane keep clamoring for more of the same.

    And by the way, there is no COLA increase because the cost of living went down year-over-year. That's what happens in a Great Recession. You are entitled to your own opinion but not to your own facts.

    August 30, 2009 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  12. ex-republican

    Yes Jane,
    we pray that this reform comes to light. "Silent" majority want this and GOP can't stop this anymore. All this lies coming from GOP are just showing us what is actualy happening. Yes, Kenedy's health reform now.

    August 30, 2009 11:30 am at 11:30 am |
  13. champly

    Mr. Doyle – if you are an honest man you would DEMAND that the healthcare bill include a take over of all food production. With 30 million or more people on the food dole it would be IMMORAL to allow private food production to continue. People with back yeard gardens should be required (under force of the Obama brownshirts) to turn their entire production over to Public Option grocery stores. All grocery non government stores would be required to halt sale of fatty foods, animal based food products, and privately published newspapers. That would be the Obamaist thing to do Mr. Doyle. DEMAND IT Mr. Doyle.

    All Hail the Obama !

    August 30, 2009 11:30 am at 11:30 am |
  14. ole missouri

    Miss ya already Teddy!

    August 30, 2009 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
  15. Scott, Tucson

    Why are so many people in favor of Obama slashing Medicare to fund his Obamacare plan? If Kennedy was treated under Obamacare a year ago he would have been given some pills and told to go home and die.

    You want to help bring the cost of health care down, start with Tort Reform but Congress which is mostly lawyers won't touch it! Than stop funding free health care to illegals.

    August 30, 2009 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  16. Mer

    It is with great sadness I read the passing of Senator Kennedy. He did alot of wrong things, but he also did alot of right things. Pushing for adequate healthcare was one of them. I also read that he had treatment at Duke Medical Center. I only hope that any other United States citizen would be afforded the same level of care. Somehow, our lawmakers forget...They work for us...and they have the best healthcare in the world. None of them have to worry. Senator Kennedy's excellent treatment probably prolonged his life considerably. It's time to take care of our own.

    August 30, 2009 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  17. champly

    Mr. Dodd is one of the most corrupt people in Congress. No wonder CNN and Obama swoon every time he pontificates.Corruption follows corruption.

    August 30, 2009 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  18. Latifah Taormina

    Let's name the bill in Kennedy's honor.

    August 30, 2009 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  19. John Illinois

    Dodd is a great person to stating this, a liar caught on video and also a person largely responsible for the housing crisis along with his buddy Barney Frank. Got news for you Dodd, we expected much, much more out of YOU. The majority of the American people have already shown their opposition to the healthcare bill in all of the polls and town hall meetings. Now the democrats are resorting to pimping the dead guy to get the bill passed. That is truly disgusting.

    August 30, 2009 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  20. Jerry

    We average folk expected more from Chris Dodd also but he failed middle class America. Ted Kennedy has left a legacy of nothing but being a self serving above the law rich guy.

    August 30, 2009 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  21. Jerry

    Until there is tort reform medical costs will never go down , note how all the democrats are against this.

    August 30, 2009 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  22. IS IT 2012 YET ??

    In Massachusetts, and Washington, the name Kennedy might still matter to some. In the rest of America, the Kennedy name is an outdated liability today. This is 2009, not the 1960s.

    August 30, 2009 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  23. katiec

    It is hard to understand those who have swallowed so fully the lies, distortions and swiftboating put out by the republicans and health
    care entities.
    And, those who cry bipartisanship when the republicans have totally turned their backs on any negotiating, refusing to recognize how
    desperately our country needs health care reform.
    The republicans total support of the continuation of big business continuing to run and control our country making crucial decisions
    on our welfare.
    Turning their back on those who have had to file bankruptcy due to medical costs, those who die because they cannot afford health care or are abandoned by insurance companies, denied claims etc.
    There are so many horror stories out there by not just the poor but those who had health care coverage.
    There must be health care reform, with or without the party of no.

    August 30, 2009 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  24. Every

    I'm tired of hearing these repuglican partisans cry about healthcare cost, and protesters protesting ficticious death panels, abortion funding etc! Where were these concerns when George Bush was in the White House! George Bush, squandered 5 trillion in surplus, passed a childrens healthcare bill, not paid for, a medicare medicaid bill not paid for, 380 billion bailout not paid for, 5 trillion in tax cuts not paid for, 1 trillion for iraq war not paid for, and billions for chrysler and others corporate welfare recipients! WHERE WAS THE PUBLIC OUTCRY! WHERE WAS THE PROTESTERS! WHERE WAS THE REPUBLICAN CONCERNS WHEN THEY WERE IN CONTROL! All this money created the deficit of 9 trillion for our grandchildren! I DO NOT TRUST THESE REPUBLICANS! PASSED THIS LEGISLATION WITHOUT THEM PERIOD!

    August 30, 2009 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  25. Hendrik

    We Democrats keep thinking that, if we just negotiated a bit more, our Republicans "brothers" would join us for the greater good of the country.
    Have we not figured out yet by watching townhalls, destructive advertisements, lying to us at every turn, and blatant militarism that THEY DON'T WORK THAT WAY.
    Their ideology calls for a strong response to anything and to get what you want at ANY cost. Their extreme methods match their extreme rhetoric.
    Sen Grassley and Enzi have made it perfectly clear that their involvement in negotiations regarding health care were never to reach compromise; Republicans don't work for compromise.
    Let's get these "Blue Dogs" back through threats or any other methods that work and get on with business.
    Let's go it alone on health care. Our country will thank us.

    August 30, 2009 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
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