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. Mike Allen

    America has desperatly needed health care reform for decades but because crooked politicians are in the pocket of greedy corporations all efforts have failed. I do not know which is worse. The crooked Republican liars who are derailing the needed reforms or the ignorant American sheeple who have been conned into thinking that these greedy crooks are trying to preserve the American way. The four hundred million dollar radio blob, Rush Limbaugh insulted the memory of Ted Kennedy by saying that Kennedy was an example of our great health care system. Just ignored the facts that Kennedy spent his life fighting for health care for all Americans not just the rich or lucky. Of course this was the same Limbaugh that said "who uses regular gas" when the price was approaching four dollars a gallon.

    August 30, 2009 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  2. MillerJ

    Quick, we need another diversion so people aren't focused on what a debacle this president and this democratic congress has become.

    August 30, 2009 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
  3. Gerry

    Medicare is going broke. The administration want's to take $500,000,000 out of medicare but they want to add 40 to 50 million more people. Taking that much money out of HC and adding that many people to the program and this is suppose to be better for us. HOW

    August 30, 2009 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
  4. The liberal lying truth

    Again you nitwits need to be schooled with some uh, uh, uh, uh, uh facts.

    You can pass whatever you want, you OWN everything so stop being sheep and blaming the Republicans, god you people are just plain stupid.

    The other FACT here is that Nixon in 1964 proposed Health care reform, but guess who opposed it back then sheep……….. your beloved Ted Kennedy.

    WE all agree that reform is needed and Republicans have put up 6 bills that Reid and Pelosi have kept in conference or have squashed, so who is the party of NO?

    You have a leak in your basement, do you as a Republican clean it up and FIX it so the leak stops or do you as a Democrat, spend someone else's money by tearing the WHOLE HOUSE down and rebuiding?

    Think about it.

    August 30, 2009 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |
  5. saveourchildren

    Teddy and Jesus were one and the same......

    August 30, 2009 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  6. barbara

    he expected NOTHING from the people except respect for the kennedy name and by way of that, complete agreement for all that he wanted to do whether we liked it or not. i can never respect any man that allows, yes allows, someone to die without even trying to save ones life.

    August 30, 2009 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  7. Ray E.

    The U.S. Constitution never gave the Congress the right to collect money from one person and give it to another. The Congress has no business in the Welfare business, the Medical business . or collecting and disbersing money for the most part.

    The 12 trillion dollar national debt is nothing to sneeze at. And a 20 trillion dollar national debt will send the nation into a depression we may never recover from. The people understand this so they are baulking on this Health bill. Post it!

    August 30, 2009 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |

    If a public option passes, government will not be involved in our lives anymore than they are now.......I'm tired of this black helicopter, the government is coming to get us crap.......we made the government, everyone of us, through voting or not voting, through taxes, and the need for social services, state, and federal.......police, firemen, the army, fbi, cia, the 3 branches of government, fda, atf, so on and so on all needed government. Please with this uneducated paranoia.

    The truth is private has sucked the citizenship dry and made billions off of us due to health care. I welcome gov. intervention.

    August 30, 2009 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  9. we are praying it does pass, millions accross the country

    We are praying it does pass. Hundreds of thousands of people across this country are praying – senior citizens, middle aged Americans. Obama cares a great deal about what happens to the seniors of this country. We are saddened by the death of Kennedy any death is a sadness and we feel compassion for his family but he is gone and we live on and are so hopeful Health Care does pass in the form it is now in. Mrs. Pelosi we are people who care about our country and the direction that Obama is leading it, and so we say thank you to you and Mr. Obama and we will miss Mr. Kennedy and but we know Healthcare will pass and are happy that it will.

    Thank you Josh

    August 30, 2009 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  10. independent

    For as long as the Republicans are against health care reform and the public option, I propose that the President sign an Executive Order temporarily eliminating the Congressional Health Care Program. If 46 million Americans cannot have health care, Congress shouldn't have it either.

    August 30, 2009 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  11. barbara

    what is obvious is that the health care system does need reforming. everyone knows that. why is there nothing in the bill about tort reform (republican idea to get trial lawyers out of the way)? even DEAN (DNC) said that the trial lawyers have much sway and contribute the dem party and thats why nothing in the bill to address it. why cant we work on one section at a time? why overhaul the entire sustem to fix just a few problems? would you tear down the entire house just to rebuild when all that was needed was a septic system or a new floor? no you wouldnt and so we need only adrees the biggest flaws in the health care system and keep the government out of it.

    August 30, 2009 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  12. John in WV

    Why does reform have to allow employers to opt for a public option for their employees because it's less expensive? Why does reform have to allow the wealthy with private plans to opt for a public option because it's less expensive? Their are ways for the republicans to protect the deep pockets of insurance companies and their profits and still provide the disabled, low income, unemployed people in this country with a public option they can afford.

    August 30, 2009 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
  13. Maria - Proud Democrat

    Sorry but the current Health Care plan STINKS and it's not worthy of Senator Kennedy's name.

    Senator Kennedy wanted Americans to have the same benefits that Congress has......the current health plan does NOT do that.

    So go back to the drawing board and come up with something better.

    August 30, 2009 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |

    In the letter to the Pope Ted sounds like asking the Pope to
    intervene in the country's politics and debate to bring changes to
    the health care system, etc..Reminds us of another letter written to the
    KREMLIN by Rose in the TV-series "The Golden Girls"...The question
    is:"Do World Leaders and/or Religious Leaders have God-like powers.????????????????????????????????????????????????

    August 30, 2009 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  15. 7pesos

    is it possible that the republicans and their health insurance masters

    will win this debate?

    these same republicans that gave us bush, cheney, the christian

    right and the iraq war?

    war, murder, christians and the right wing...

    what would america do without them?

    August 30, 2009 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  16. ck

    And we expected more from Ted.... but never got it.


    August 30, 2009 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  17. Joe

    Since when is it so important to please the Kennedy's. He is gone along with the rest of the "do as i say, not as i do" bunch of crooks.

    August 30, 2009 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  18. bella

    It certainly is past time for healthcare reform! Senator Kennedy worked tirelessly for DECADES to get healthcare legislation passed. It is sad he didn't live to see this accomplished. However, I feel that the bill will move foward and that finally we will have the healthcare we deserve. The pundits and GOP/Republicans are just greedy, self-serving, and careless people who only really care for ME! (themselves). And it so intersting that is their mantra, because the Bible and Jesus were very adamant that we are to help the poor, the homeless, the helpless, and widows and orphans. So, I have learned, that the Republicans really do not practice what the Bible teaches. They find every way they can to get around it. Em??????

    August 30, 2009 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  19. Johnny DC

    Cheers to Dodd for the most offensive comments of the day, using this sad event for legislative momentum. Nice work, scumbag.

    August 30, 2009 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  20. ComradeObummer

    Well if Kennedy had put forth a reasonable, pratical HC reform plan instead of the usual "total welfare" plan paid for by others, he might of had a chance.

    He didn't, so he got nothing accomplished.

    And (Corrupt) DODD should just resign and go ride off in the sunset.

    August 30, 2009 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
  21. Perplexed

    The Republican's have spread so many myths and plain out lies that the uninformed and sometime racist American citizens chose to believe that it will be difficult to turn things around. The media, once again just like the lies about WMD's that got us into a war in Iraq, played right into the conservatives hands. Pres. Obama wanting to kill our parents, socialism, nazism, etc. How silly!

    August 30, 2009 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  22. Cali J

    Also, ask Dodd if he would acept the same health care he is trying to shove down our throats? If he says yes, then let it happen, if he says no, then you should understand what is taking place. As simple as that.

    August 30, 2009 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  23. Truth-Bomb Thrower

    Kennedy expected to get re-elected and that was pretty much it. Promising the world to the poor and the uneducated was just his way of doing it. When this country loss Ted Kennedy, it didn't lose much.......except a lot of corruption. Let's see if the people of Massachusetts will now actually send someone respectable to the U.S. Senate.

    August 30, 2009 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  24. Michael M, Phoenix AZ

    Hey you anti health care should not make any difference now that Sen Kennedy has passed away...The Dems have been trying to get some kind of health care reform passed for decades and the Insurance Company laden Republicans don't want to hurt the profits of insurance companies, or the campaign contributions from the insurance companies. What need to happen, is that NO outside campaign contributions from ANY corporation should be allowed and lobbyist need to go find real employment!

    August 30, 2009 01:57 pm at 1:57 pm |
  25. Keith in Austin

    I for one do not care one iota what Kennedy expects re: Healthcare reform! The Democrats are exploiting his death for their personal gain and they continue to convey how low they will stoop. Dodd will never be re-elected and his recent prostate surgery was conducted by a renown Urologist at one of the nation's leading Medical Centers. Under the Public Option he endorses for the rest of us, he'd be told to "go home and take a few aspirins so he could rot away while illegal aliens can deliver babies for public welfare! Hanf it up Chris, you're a total embarrasment!!!

    August 30, 2009 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
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