Whenever a famous person dies, the TV networks go all out with tributes and commentaries and old movies and video of the person. So often I learn more than I knew before or I learn about some of the quiet traits of a person. Sometimes the descriptions don't match my memories, so I wonder.
When the list of the causes that Ted Kennedy supported, worked for, fought for, and even took risks for came on the TV screen today, I said to myself, "Well, of course." By that I meant, well of course a person would be against the war; well of course, a person would want to help people with disabilities; of course, a person would work against apartheid. The list was quite long.
So many of these things that Kennedy promoted, and worked for, are things that people now take for granted. Hindsight is wonderful; it lets us forget that some things were just not there for certain groups at one time. We forget that some people, not just senators, went out on a limb for certain causes, even suffering for a cause. We get to take good things for granted. There may also be things that I disagree with or ideas that are good, but the implementation is problematic. But all in all, Kennedy worked to make life better for many people.
About the time that Reagan was president, Ted Kennedy was promoting a single payer health care system. I was adamantly against this. I had selfish reasons. With the benefit of age, I can see now how strained out current health care PAYMENT system is, and how close so many of us are to losing our insurance, if we even have any. And I see how some people have to pay a lot for insurance because they are not in a group or in a small group, while others practically have it for nothing. Some employers are generous; my son worked for a billionaire's large company where the $8.00/hour employees could buy their insurance if they chose to (yeah right.)
I sincerely hope that we can honor the memory of Ted Kennedy by getting a new system that treats people fairly and does away with the ridiculously complicated insurance claim system that clinics now have to deal with. Good health care needs to be available to everyone. A simplified health care PAYMENT system should be a reasonable goal.