Kennedy's Death May Breathe New Life Into Health Care

By Jane Yager,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 26, 2009 8:07 AM CDT
In the July 27 issue of Newsweek (on newsstands Monday, July 20): "We're Almost There." Sen. Ted Kennedy writes an essay about healthcare reform.    (PRNewsFoto/NEWSWEEK)
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(Newser) – While Ted Kennedy fought cancer, his absence damaged the health care battle he called the "cause of my life"—but his death may draw a wellspring of support for reform, reports Reuters. An outpouring of affection for him could find its expression in passage of the kind of health care program Kennedy would have backed.

Lawmakers trying to hammer out a health care package felt keenly the absence of Kennedy, a "powerhouse in face-to-face negotiations." Kennedy, first drawn to health care by his young son's 1973 battle with cancer, wrote in Newsweek a month ago: "We will end the disgrace of America as the only major industrialized nation in the world that doesn't guarantee health care for all of its people."