Thursday, August 27, 2009

Cancer Kills Another Legend

U.S. Senator Edward “Ted” Kennedy lost his year long battle against brain cancer on August 27, 2009. Kennedy was a recipient of the American Cancer Society’s highest award, Medal of Honor and the National Distinguished Advocacy Award. Senator Kennedy was a passionate advocate for cancer patients and their families, not just in his home state of Massachusetts, but nationwide.

Truly one of the great champions in the battle to fight cancer, Senator Kennedy led a passionate effort against this disease during his more than 40 years in the U.S. Senate, championing health care-related causes from equal access to health care to increased funding for cancer research and screening for early detection.

“Known as the ‘Lion of the Senate,’ Senator Kennedy has fought to bring all the resources of the nation to bear in fighting cancer and other diseases, renewing the war on cancer by introducing a bill to overhaul the 1971 National Cancer Act.
“Senator Kennedy was personally touched by this disease long before his own diagnosis, watching his son, Ted Kennedy, Jr. battle bone cancer as a teen, and daughter Kara Kennedy Allen battle lung cancer in 2003.

Senator Kennedy helped to reign in the tobacco industry with legislation that gives the FDA the authority to regulate tobacco products, which was signed into law in June. Senator Kennedy also championed the expansion of the Children’s Health Insurance Program with an increase in the tobacco tax.

In July 2009, Senator Kennedy’s Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee passed The Affordable Health Choices Act, landmark legislation that will reduce health costs, protect individuals’ choice in doctors and plans, and assure quality and affordable health care for all Americans.The legislation builds on the existing employer-based system and strengthens it. If people like the health insurance they have, they get to keep it. The bill provides better choices for those with no coverage now, and those for whom coverage is unaffordable. It also gives small businesses better options for high value health coverage.Under the insurance reforms in the bill, no American can be refused health coverage because of a preexisting medical condition, or have that coverage denied when they need it most. No American will ever again be subject to annual or lifetime limits on their coverage, or see it terminated arbitrarily to avoid paying claims.

I didn’t always personally agree with Senator Kennedy’s politics, but I am grateful for his commitment and support of healthcare legislation throughout his career and his courage to bring attention to the nation’s battle against Cancer. Each of us can only hope, that his fierce devotation to healthcare related issues will continue to be fought in the Senate by our representatives on both sides of the isle, until the day comes when we find the cure.

1 comment:

whidbeywoman said...

Nice tribute to a man who truly loved his country and its people.