Senators Kennedy and Byrd in Logan County, 2004. Image from WV Blue.
The top story (at the moment) in today's New York Times notes that the death of long time health care reform supporter Senator Ted Kennedy adds a new and volatile element to the ongoing debate:
The death of Senator Edward M. Kennedy has quickly become a rallying point for Democratic advocates of a broad health care overhaul, a signature Kennedy issue that became mired in partisanship while he fought his illness away from the Capitol...
It seemed unlikely that Republicans would suddenly soften their firm opposition in the aftermath of Mr. Kennedy’s death or that Democrats would relent on their push for substantial change, especially for a government-run insurance plan, which Mr. Kennedy endorsed.
But Democrats and others said the senator’s death should provide at least a temporary respite from the angry denunciations that flowed this summer, putting Democrats on the defensive as they met with voters back home. One advocacy group opposed to the Democratic proposals, Conservatives for Patients’ Rights, announced that it was suspending its advertising out of respect for the senator and his family.
Senator Byrd said it best:
"In his honor and as a tribute to his commitment to his ideals, let us stop the shouting and name calling and have a civilized debate on health care reform which I hope, when legislation has been signed into law, will bear his name for his commitment to insuring the health of every American."
WHO OWNS APPALACHIA? For the most part, not the people who live there.
MORE ON HEALTH CARE WHACKADOODLERY here.
SHORT RATIONS. Goat Rope is running short of links today. More tomorrow.
GOAT ROPE ADVISORY LEVEL: ELEVATED