Wednesday, August 26, 2009

The dream shall never die

"For all those whose cares have been our concern, the work goes on, the cause endures, the hope still lives, and the dream shall never die."
Sen. Kennedy, 1980 Democratic National Convention, NYC

Senator Kennedy's fight with cancer made news of his passing this morning less of a surprise than it might have been otherwise. However, it does not make his death any less bitter or sad for someone like myself - a proud, self-proclaimed liberal.

Regardless of ideology, Sen. Kennedy will be recalled as one of the most influential politicians of the 20th century. He authored more than 2,500 bills in the United States Senate - of which, several hundred became public law. I've listed some of the more recognizeable bills.

Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990
Ryan White Comprehensive AIDS Resources Emergency Act of 1990
Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) in 1997

Civil Rights
Civil Rights Act of 1964
Title IX of the Higher Education Act 1972
Pregnancy Discrimination Act in 1978
Civil Rights Act of 1991
Civil Rights Act of 2008

Note how Kennedy's 1980 speech even then addressed concerns for reforming our nation's healthcare system, "I will continue to stand for a national health insurance...We must not surrender...Let us insist on real controls over what doctors and hospitals can charge, and let us resolve that the state of a family's health shall never depend on the size of a family's wealth."

You can read the full transcript or listen via audiofile online at American Rehtoric
Kennedy's life (photos)
Kennedy's life (timeline)
Beyond Camelot: His shining moment endures

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