In an effort to rally the flagging support for healthcare reform, and make it harder for Republicans to oppose it, Democratic lawmakers are planning to name the legislation that will be debated in Congress this fall after the late Senator Ted Kennedy of Massachusetts.
Kennedy was one of the earliest proponents of a universal healthcare system, with his efforts dating back to the beginning of the 1970s, and he reportedly endorsed Barack Obama for president in 2008 after the latter pledged to push for a sweeping healthcare reform.
Kennedy was still involved in drafting a healthcare bill in the months leading to his death of brain cancer on August 25th, and frequently said it was the "cause of his life."
Now with Kennedy gone, the reform effort has been dealt a blow, and congressional Democrats have proposed affixing his name to the bill, an effort spearheaded by Senator Robert Byrd, a West Virginia Democrat, the longest-serving member of the Senate.
Byrd has asked his fellow lawmakers to honor and pay tribute to Kennedy, have a "civilized" debate on the reform and pass a bill that would bear his name.
"Ted Kennedy’s dream of quality healthcare for all Americans will be made real this year because of his leadership and his inspiration," says House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.