The death of Sen. Edward Kennedy quickly became a rallying cry for Congress to pass health care overhaul legislation.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s office sent an email to reporters at around 2:30 a.m. today, just hours after his death, calling for the passage of health care overhaul. “Ted Kennedy’s dream of quality health care for all Americans will be made real this year because of his leadership and his inspiration,” the statement read.
Andy Stern, president of the Service Employees International Union, also issued a statement this morning calling for the passage of health care overhaul. “Let us continue his cause,” Stern said. “Let us take action this year to pass health care reform. And let us continue to build Kennedy’s vision of America.”
South Carolina Rep. James Clyburn, the House majority whip, said: “As we move forward with health reform legislation, his absence will be palpable. But let us use his inspirational words as our guide, to rise to our best ideals and finally provide decent quality health care to all Americans as a fundamental right, not a privilege.”
Kennedy, who spent the past year battling brain cancer, had frequently called health-care overhaul the “cause of my life.”