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

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

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="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. Alfred E. Neumann

    Yes Dodd, Kennedy expected more – and what will you do? Nothing!

    We elected Barack Obama to get us out of the war, health care reform and restore the economy.

    Obama is getting us deeper into the war – grade F
    Obama is too weak to do health care reform – grade D
    Obama on the economy – incomplete.

    We hear from Dodd on health care reform knowing full well that Hatch is correct – no public option and thus no reform.

    Democrats control the White House, the House and the Senate while the Republicans call the shots. Amazing.

    We need term limits in Congress! Bye Bye Dodd!

    August 30, 2009 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  2. Lolita/Alabama

    This what I know for sure. I recently lost my job, and I have several medical conditions that require medication, which I will not be affording as often as I once did when I had medical insurance when I was working. I surely cannot afford the Cobra. While Congress dicks around deciding who should be fortunate enough to deserve health care, I just going to pray my asthma or other condition doesn't put me in the hospital, while enduring the stress of finding work with insurance I can afford in this economy. Hospitalization would ensure financial ruin for me in an already unmanageable position, and having to endure another 12 to 18 month waiting period for preexisting conditions when I do get insurance again is just not fair. How American is this? It is medical discrimination, pure and simple and should be declared unconstitutional.

    August 30, 2009 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  3. catmom

    It's easy to expect more from "us" when you have a trust fund that allows you to never have a real job.
    Right Eli and because of that he didn't have to be beholden to big corporations. He was doing what he felt was best for the American people.

    How interesting to see that you don't feel being in the Senate as having a real job. I guess though it helps to understand why Republicans constantly talk about the government being so bad. Maybe those Republicans in the House and Senate should go out and find real jobs and then perhaps they would understand what real American people are going through while they play games.

    August 30, 2009 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  4. Ernie in LA

    Dodd must think we are really stupid. Mr. Kennedy does not make Government Healthcare any different whether he is alive or dead. His death should not even change a fools mind. DUH!! Government Healthcare was a bad idea the day before he died AND the day after.

    August 30, 2009 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  5. Georgia

    As you can see by the comments made by Hatch – Sen. Kennedy had the right to expect more from the current Republican's – from which he has seen great change over the last decades.

    The only thing the current Republican Party ONLY cares about Major Corporations and the Wealthy! They DON'T CARE about the Common Middle Class American!!!!!

    If they did – they would want a Public Option that would ELIMINATE the DEATH PANELS in the CURRENT health care Industry dominated by Profiteering Insurance Conglomerates!

    Remember – the Republican's have shown over the last 8 years that they PREFER INCOMPETENCE over governing our great country with policies to help Middle Class America!!!

    August 30, 2009 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  6. Barbara

    I'm a senior citizen and am in Full Support of President Obama's push for Healthcare for ALL Americans. Now is not the time for those old scare tactics. Now is the time for serious discussions and a coming together to pass universal Healthcare. Spreading fear doesn't get the job done; it only divides and keeps things status quo. If we don't deal with Healthcare now it will only keep snowballing out of control. For being such a beacon for the World we are shamefully denying so many a fundamental Right. It is not Left or Right-it's straight ahead-Now!

    August 30, 2009 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  7. Pat

    Orin Hatch says the bridge is too wide for Republicans & Democrats to work together to pass a health care bill. Well, Orin Hatch, why don't you be the first Republican to step forward and start working across aisles like your good friend, Ted Kennedy would have? But, the insurance companies wouldn't want you to do that now, would they??

    Democrats, go on your own and get this passed! I'm a senior citizen and "killing grandma" and "death panels" are two of the most ridculous things I've heard out of the Republicans lately. But then, Huckaby thinks Obama's plan would have told Kennedy "to take pain pills and go home and die." That that coming from a pastor is absolutely the most sickening and dispicible thing.

    August 30, 2009 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  8. Dave

    Sen. Dodd, who apparantly was able to use his connections to get perks
    that people in the private sector would be fired for, telling a modern-day
    biased entertainer using the name "journalist" about passing "bipartisan"
    legislation (to a Democrat, that means "as long as you agree with us, it's bipartisan") in the name of a Senator who has a long history of getting away with murder, in more ways than one.

    Sorry, I realize history isn't taught in the new educational system, but for those of us around before that began, this is pathetic, but predictable. Healthcare reform means creating an environment where more healthcare professionals become part of the system, demanding accountability of people for their lifestyles, making sure that people take advantage of assistance programs that already exist and paying something towards them each month, cracking down on illegal immigrants, and for heaven's sake, leaving alone what isn't broken. People have a right to be mad when power-hungry amateurs are put in charge of something that requires professional development.

    August 30, 2009 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  9. I had to change my name to get anything posted

    Obama expected more of us too. What the Dems do not realize is that the Rebubs want changes in Healthcare as well, but only change what is needed. The Government should not control our lives so much.

    August 30, 2009 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  10. sifto77

    Kennedy did a lot of good in his lifetime–but, the exploitation of his grandchildren for political gain was beyond the pale. I pray it was not him who wrote the grandkids speeches pushing the Obama healthcare agenda. It would be a great disappointment if he did. Probably came from the 2nd wife for political points.

    August 30, 2009 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  11. Carl

    Someone said it would be a fitting tribute to Ted if we pass the health care reform bill.

    I think it would be a fitting tribute to finally tell the public who killed his brother in Dallas.

    It would also be fitting to reveal the whole truth about that night in the lat e1960s where Teddy left a woman to drown in his car, whether he was aware of it or not. Any regular American caught not calling the police and reporting the death of someone in your car as you drive it into a river would get jail time....

    August 30, 2009 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  12. My 2 cents

    The worst "death panels" are all of those working to defeat the "public option" – it's true.

    I'm an uninsured cancer patient (who had worked & had health insurance until last year when I was diagnosed with a rare cancer). Should all of us with serious illnesses, who have fallen through the proverbial "cracks" just "die" so that the rest of you can continue down the fear-based path of "No" ?

    But we're not YOUR problem, right?

    August 30, 2009 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  13. Lauren

    I am willing to bet you will not post this.

    Kennedy was nothing more than a liberal Democrat with a family name. And THAT is why all the fanfare over his death. If this had been a long time conservative Republican who died, the press would MAYBE mention it in passing and we would have never had any live coverage of his or her funeral.

    Those stupid politicians in Washington will now dwell on the emotional factor, weep some tears, construct a memorial bill, and toss Teddys name out there until they get the Health Care plan passed, when every poll in the country indicates MOST of us do not want this to pass.

    The republicans will get blamed if by chance it does not pass, even thought the Dems do not need one republican vote to make it happen.

    August 30, 2009 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  14. Steve, Columbia SC

    It makes me wan to puke Senator Dodd using Ted Kennedy's death to push the current healthcare legislation. The legislation needs to go down in flames, and start all over, but this time, keep any idea of bloated government involvement out of it.

    August 30, 2009 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  15. Jane G.

    Let's make it clear: No one exploited Kennedy's grandchildren.

    No one told them to say it, and there is no proof to say otherwise.

    They are young people with minds of their own who decided ON THEIR OWN to echo the sentiments of their grandfather, whose life goal was to make sure everybody had healthcare.

    It's that simple. You can't honor somebody in a memorial service without at least mentioning what they've stood for all these years. The children, of their own accord, reminded us that.

    August 30, 2009 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  16. Artie

    Enough liberal Kennedy worship ;move on!

    August 30, 2009 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  17. Disclaimer

    The Republicans will never accept bipartisanship because they see the health care debate as a way to harm Obama's presidency to further their own interests. I'm quite certain the Republicans will only go along with bipartisanship to water down meaningful reform, and then when it's time to vote, they will backtrack and double cross the Democrats. They can not be trusted.

    August 30, 2009 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  18. Hall for Obama

    Jane, I am a senior citizens, and I want health care to pass, I get Social Security and I know there is a freeze on. But what about the people who have lost their jobs and do not have insurance? The President did not causes every one to lose their jobs. No matter what you may say, some of this happen doing the Bush term. If you are a people who care about your country why are you wish for Prisident Obama to fail.

    August 30, 2009 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  19. annie for Palin

    Like kennedy's health care bill that is failing in his home state?

    August 30, 2009 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  20. My 2 cents

    The worst "death panels" are all of those working to defeat the "public option" – it's true.

    I'm an uninsured cancer patient (who had worked & had health insurance until last year when I was diagnosed with a rare cancer). Should all of us with serious illnesses, who have fallen through the proverbial "cracks", just "die" so that the rest of you can continue down the fear-based path of "No" ?

    But we're not YOUR problem, right?

    August 30, 2009 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  21. jimbo

    If everyone got the same healthcare that Congress gets, then maybe healthcare reform would work. But that ain't gonna happen

    August 30, 2009 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  22. Earl

    May God have mercy on the souls of those who believe that people should be made to choose between death and financial ruin.

    August 30, 2009 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  23. Longhorn who speaks the truth.

    Kennedy had no one's welfare at heart unless it made him money. Give it up Dodd.

    August 30, 2009 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  24. cruiserGT

    Wow... for those with the 'left' lean, don't assume that those of us that don't support the current heath-care debate are simply focused on ensuring our current government is not successful. That is far from the TRUTH.

    The answer is not to take my money to give you health-care. I want everyone to have health-care, but I am not willing to pay for it. Paying for YOUR heath-care is YOUR responsibility.

    It's all about the money. Get the economy going, get folks employed, and watch health-care cost per individual go down.

    August 30, 2009 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
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