The Boston Globe reports that Teddy Kennedy, recovering from his brain tumor surgery, is quietly laying the groundwork for universal healthcare legislation. Obviously, nothing can be done until the end of our long national nightmare (200 days and counting!), but it will be vitally important to have the basic framework laid out when President Obama (please please please) takes office.
This is encouraging on a number of levels:
- HillaryCare failed in part because of a failure to adequately involve the legislative branch in crafting the necessary compromises, and in part because of a failure to move quickly enough, when the Clinton administration still had momentum and unspent political capital. It's nice to see that they have learned from that lesson.
- The article reports that Kennedy's effort is "designed to identify areas of common ground between Democrats and Republicans, business and labor, providers and insurers." The SEIU, AARP and the powerful small business lobby have joined in an uncommon alliance to work together, and it's nice to see this collaboration extend into the legislative arena.
- This coalition is much more likely to propose a workable plan like Wyden's, rather than a doomed single-payer system.
- And, given that the 111th will likely, sadly, be the last Congress for Teddy, it's nice to see that he's working to go out championing the issue he has dedicated most of his public career towards.