Monday, September 20, 2010

hubris is a disease

"The fact is that we would have had comprehensive health care NOW, had it not been for Ted Kennedy's deliberately blocking the legislation that I proposed” former US President Jimmy Carter said. “It was his fault. Ted Kennedy killed the bill."

Slack jawed I’ve surfed the net over this squabble absolutely stunned that ‘pundits’ and news seem more concerned with political legacies than ‘getting’ the toll this bickering cost.

30+ years of people’s health, life and death have been impacted. Big Pharma and Big Medicine have infected the US economy perhaps irreparably. Rising medical bills have cost many families everything. U.S. residents without health insurance soared to a record high last year as employment-based coverage plummeted.

Championing health care reform in the 1970’s, Sen. Ted Kennedy trumpeted, “We are the only industrialized nation in the world outside South Africa that does not have universal, comprehensive healthcare insurance.”

Kennedy pulled out of a comprise bill with then President Gerald Ford. OK I can get why accept compromise when waiting a year or so and the Democrats might put together their own. 

Of course no one, not even his mother, envisioned Jimmy Carter winning the Democratic Party nomination.

However he did and went on to win the 1976 US presidential election. Now with control of both the White House and Congress health care reform became a squabble between Carter and Kennedy centered around implementation.

“He (Kennedy) did not want to see me have a major success in that realm of life,” Carter said.

Neither would blink and history swept the moment in time aside. Sen. Kennedy chose to challenge President Carter in the Democratic primaries of 1980. Beat Carter, beat Reagan, and then he could push through the legislation he wanted. … Sigh! Hubris is a disease.

Decades have passed, real people’s lives and health have been affected every day.

Time magazine in 1979 reported that health care reform could cost an estimated $130 billion. What are we talking these days in the trillions?

Whenever a man has cast a longing eye on offices, a rottenness begins in his conduct.  
~Thomas Jefferson

Caregivingly Yours, Patrick Leer 
musings: patrick ponders


  1. I was working in DC at the time and well remember the rancor between the Kennedy and Carter camps. Apparently, at least on one end, hard feelings still simmer.

  2. sad they let personal differences get in the way of helping so many



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