From Sickbed, Kennedy Crafts Health Plan

Bipartisan effort includes industry; goal is universal coverage
By Wesley Oliver,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 24, 2008 3:49 PM CDT
Sen. Ted Kennedy, D-Mass., greets the crowd at the Democratic National Convention in Denver on Monday, Aug. 25, 2008 at the Pepsi Center. AP Photo/   (RODOLFO GONZALEZ/ROCKY MOUNTAIN NEWS)
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(Newser) – Even as he undergoes cancer treatment, Ted Kennedy is coordinating bipartisan meetings with colleagues and lobbyists in an effort to produce health care legislation that includes universal coverage, the Washington Times reports. The meetings—involving labor unions, insurers, drug companies, and hospitals—“are a testament to how people feel about him,” said a GOP senatorial aide. Kennedy has called universal care "the cause of my life."

The Massachusetts senator, 76, hopes to avoid the pitfalls that sank President Clinton’s health care initiative. “He's working tirelessly,” said one advocate. “He's making things happen.” Neither presidential candidate is proposing true universal coverage, analysts say. One participant described the effort as a tribute: “There is this real feeling, 'Let's do it for Ted.' "