Honor Ted Kennedy by Passing Real Health Reform

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At the 2008 Democratic Convention, after being diagnosed with a brain tumor, Sen. Ted Kennedy called health reform the "cause of my life." Watch him.

For me this is a season of hope - new hope for a justice and fair prosperity for the many, and not just for the few - new hope.

This is the cause of my life - new hope that we will break the old gridlock and guarantee that every American - north, south, east, west, young, old - will have decent, quality health care as a fundamental right and not a privilege.

Before his illness, he spoke movingly about the health care his own family was fortunate to receive. And he adamantly rejected the Republican idea that Congress should have the very best health care, but the American people should not. Watch him.

Kennedy chaired the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP). On July 15, Kennedy's committee passed the Affordable Health Choices Act, which "will reduce health costs, protect individuals' choice in doctors and plans, and assure quality and affordable heath care for Americans."

It also includes a "strong public option that responds to the wishes of the American people to have a clear alternative to for-profit insurance companies."

Senator Kennedy was too ill to vote for this bill, but he praised its passage:

Americans are an extraordinary people. We have created a nation of liberty and justice. We have defeated forces of oppression, and we have spread prosperity and progress across the globe. When the American people are on the march, there is no barrier that can resist them, no obstacle that can block their path.

The American people are on the march once more, and they will not stop until quality, affordable health care is the birthright of every American. And we are with them every step of the way.

We, the American people, are "on the march." As my Representative, I urge you to act quickly to honor Senator Ted Kennedy by passing real health reform - including a strong public option that offers "a clear alternative to for-profit insurance companies."

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