The Corner

Ted Kennedy’s Bill

A Democratic congressional aide has said that nationalized health-care legislation would be named after Ted Kennedy:

For more than four decades, Ted Kennedy has built a reputation as a “lion of the Senate” with all of his legislative accomplishments. But there’s one noteworthy feather missing from his legislative cap: national health care.

In the twilight of his career and battling brain cancer, the Massachusetts Democrat now is making what could turn out to be his final push to get health care legislation across the finish line.

“He obviously sees this as the crowning achievement of his career,” said Tom Mann, a congressional scholar at Brookings Institution. “But there’s a lot of uncertainty as to whether anything substantial will pass this year.”

In the coming months, Kennedy’s committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions is expected to help craft legislation to expand health insurance coverage. Joining Kennedy in his effort will be former Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle, whom President-elect Barack Obama nominated to be secretary of health and human services.

A spokeswoman for one of the architects of a national health care bill said that any legislation that emerges would be named after Kennedy.

“He wouldn’t name it for himself, but the majority of the body working on the legislation would say he’s devoted his life to it,” said Jude McCartin, a spokeswoman for Sen. Jeff Bingaman, D-N.M., a member of Kennedy’s committee. “Now that we’re on the verge of doing something major, the naming of the legislation should reflect his longstanding involvement,”

And so, why is Rush Limbaugh getting grief for what sounds like established fact, at least from one Democratic aide?

WASHINGTON – A Democratic official rebuked conservative commentator Rush Limbaugh on Friday for suggesting a health care proposal will be named in memory of Sen. Edward Kennedy, who is battling brain cancer. On his radio show, Limbaugh said President Barack Obama’s proposed health care revisions will be championed by “the liberal lion Teddy Kennedy.”

“Before it’s all over, it’ll be called the Ted Kennedy Memorial Health Care bill,” Limbaugh said.

Brian Wolff, executive director of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, called the remark outrageous and reprehensible.

The DCCC might want to check in with the Hill now and again. Unless the whole idea is to follow Rahman orders. Steele won’t last more than a week. Onto the next storyline.


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