Senator Edward M. Kennedy 1962-2009

img article kennedy lion of the senate gallery Senator Edward M. Kennedy 1962 2009

Edward MooreTedKennedy (February 22, 1932 – August 25, 2009)[2][3] was a United States Senator from Massachusetts and a member of the Democratic Party. In office from November 1962 until his death, Kennedy served nine terms in the Senate. At the time of his death, he was the second most senior member of the Senate, after Robert Byrd of West Virginia, and the third-longest-serving senator in U.S. history. He was best known as one of the most outspoken and effective Senate proponents of progressive causes and bills. For many years the most prominent living member of the Kennedy family, he was the youngest brother of President John F. Kennedy and Senator Robert F. Kennedy, both victims of assassinations, and the father of Congressman Patrick J. Kennedy.

Kennedy was born in Boston and raised in Massachusetts, New York, Florida, and England. He attended Harvard College and served in the U.S. Army. He graduated from Harvard in 1956 and from the University of Virginia School of Law in 1959. His 1958 marriage to Virginia Joan Bennett produced three children and ended in divorce in 1982. He was a manager in his brother John’s successful 1960 campaign for president. He then worked as an assistant district attorney for Suffolk County, Massachusetts. Kennedy entered the Senate in a 1962 special election to fill the seat once held by his brother John. He was seriously injured in an airplane crash in 1964 and suffered from lifelong back pain as a result. Kennedy was elected to his first six-year term in 1964 and was reelected seven more times.

The 1969 Chappaquiddick incident, which resulting in the death of passenger Mary Jo Kopechne, significantly damaged his chances of becoming President of the United States; his 1980 presidential election ended in a primary campaign loss to incumbent Democratic President Jimmy Carter. Kennedy was known for his oratorical power: his 1968 eulogy for his brother Robert and his 1980 Democratic National Convention rallying cry for American liberalism being among his best-known moments.

Kennedy was the chairman of the United States Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions. He became known as “The Lion of the Senate”, due to his long history and influence in the legislature. More than 300 bills that Kennedy and his staff wrote have been enacted into law. He was known for his ability to work with Republicans and to find compromises among Senators with disparate views. Kennedy played a major role in passing many laws that have affected the lives of all Americans, including the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965, the National Cancer Act of 1971, the Comprehensive Anti-Apartheid Act of 1986, the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, the Ryan White AIDS Care Act in 1990, the Civil Rights Act of 1991, the Mental Health Parity Act in 1996 and 2008, the State Children’s Health Insurance Program in 1997, the No Child Left Behind Act in 2002, and the Edward M. Kennedy Serve America Act in 2009. In the 2000s, he was a leader of several unsuccessful efforts at immigration reform. Over decades in office, Kennedy’s major legislative goal had been enactment of universal health care, which he continued to work toward during the Obama administration.

Kennedy battled a malignant brain tumor first diagnosed in May 2008, which greatly limited his appearances in the Senate; though he survived longer than doctors first predicted, he died just before midnight on August 25, 2009 at his home in Hyannis Port, Massachusetts.

This family has lost it’s sons to service to this country but never asked for anything in return……Mr.Kennedy’s final effort was to support health care for everyone let’s work and pray that our legislators honor his memory by passing a substantive health care bill……In conclusion I like many other Americans say thanks and pray that you Mr.Senator Edward M. Kennedy rest in peace for the peace that you have brought to many.



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  1. Comment by 5th Letter on August 28, 2009 8:16 pm

    RIP Sen. Kennedy… you have left an indelible mark on this nation…



  2. Comment by Gustav on November 16, 2014 1:38 pm

    C’mon, the “what does the bill actually say” arungemt has about as much credibility as “I’m not saying Glenn Beck raped and killed a girl in 1990, I’m just asking why he won’t respond to these allegations”.From Reuters:WITHIN THE FIRST YEAR OF ENACTMENTInsurance companies will be barred from dropping people from coverage when they get sick. Lifetime coverage limits will be eliminated and annual limits are to be restricted.Insurers will be barred from excluding children for coverage because of pre-existing conditions.Young adults will be able to stay on their parents’ health plans until the age of 26. Many health plans currently drop dependents from coverage when they turn 19 or finish college.Uninsured adults with a pre-existing conditions will be able to obtain health coverage through a new program that will expire once new insurance exchanges begin operating in 2014.A temporary reinsurance program is created to help companies maintain health coverage for early retirees between the ages of 55 and 64. This also expires in 2014.Medicare drug beneficiaries who fall into the “doughnut hole” coverage gap will get a $250 rebate. The bill eventually closes that gap which currently begins after $2,700 is spent on drugs. Coverage starts again after $6,154 is spent.A tax credit becomes available for some small businesses to help provide coverage for workers.A 10 percent tax on indoor tanning services that use ultraviolet lamps goes into effect on July 1.WHAT HAPPENS IN 2011Medicare provides 10 percent bonus payments to primary care physicians and general surgeons.Medicare beneficiaries will be able to get a free annual wellness visit and personalized prevention plan service. New health plans will be required to cover preventive services with little or no cost to patients.A new program under the Medicaid plan for the poor goes into effect in October that allows states to offer home and community based care for the disabled that might otherwise require institutional care.Payments to insurers offering Medicare Advantage services are frozen at 2010 levels. These payments are to be gradually reduced to bring them more in line with traditional Medicare.Employers are required to disclose the value of health benefits on employees’ W-2 tax forms.An annual fee is imposed on pharmaceutical companies according to market share. The fee does not apply to companies with sales of $5 million or less.WHAT HAPPENS IN 2012Physician payment reforms are implemented in Medicare to enhance primary care services and encourage doctors to form “accountable care organizations” to improve quality and efficiency of care.An incentive program is established in Medicare for acute care hospitals to improve quality outcomes.The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, which oversees the government programs, begin tracking hospital readmission rates and puts in place financial incentives to reduce preventable readmissions.WHAT HAPPENS IN 2013A national pilot program is established for Medicare on payment bundling to encourage doctors, hospitals and other care providers to better coordinate patient care.The threshold for claiming medical expenses on itemized tax returns is raised to 10 percent from 7.5 percent of income. The threshold remains at 7.5 percent for the elderly through 2016.The Medicare payroll tax is raised to 2.35 percent from 1.45 percent for individuals earning more than $200,000 and married couples with incomes over $250,000. The tax is imposed on some investment income for that income group.A 2.9 percent excise tax in imposed on the sale of medical devices. Anything generally purchased at the retail level by the public is excluded from the tax.WHAT HAPPENS IN 2014State health insurance exchanges for small businesses and individuals open.Most people will be required to obtain health insurance coverage or pay a fine if they don’t. Healthcare tax credits become available to help people with incomes up to 400 percent of poverty purchase coverage on the exchange.Health plans no longer can exclude people from coverage due to pre-existing conditions.Employers with 50 or more workers who do not offer coverage face a fine of $2,000 for each employee if any worker receives subsidized insurance on the exchange. The first 30 employees aren’t counted for the fine.Health insurance companies begin paying a fee based on their market share.WHAT HAPPENS IN 2015Medicare creates a physician payment program aimed at rewarding quality of care rather than volume of services.WHAT HAPPENS IN 2018An excise tax on high cost employer-provided plans is imposed. The first $27,500 of a family plan and $10,200 for individual coverage is exempt from the tax. Higher levels are set for plans covering retirees and people in high risk professions.

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