Kennedy Raising Voice Again on Health Care

By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted May 30, 2009 11:37 AM CDT
President Obama speaks with Ted Kennedy at the White House Forum on Health Reform, March 5, 2009.   (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)
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(Newser) – Ted Kennedy is back, and ready to make the more liberal argument for health care, Politico reports. The ailing senator had been working on the issue behind the scenes as he battled brain cancer, but yesterday his committee began circulating a 12-page “policy overview” on a potential bill. The day before, he wrote an op-ed in the Boston Globe explaining the major features of his approach.

Though the overview largely gels with the ideas Finance Chairman Max Baucus is considering, advocates think Kennedy ultimately aims to pull Baucus left. Kennedy is said to want a public insurance option, paying slightly more than Medicare rates, and insurance subsidies on a sliding scale for families with income 500% above the poverty line. He also wants to expand the federal children’s health care initiative to anyone age 26 or younger, up from the current 18.