Wednesday, August 26, 2009

"The Dream Shall Never Die."

Late last night Senator Ted Kennedy died of cancer. While his career in the Senate was illustrious and his personal failings and hardships are well-known, his dream of the last decades of his life remains unfulfilled: that every American should have the benefits of the greatest healthcare system in the world without regard to their income or their station in life.

Right now we stand on the cusp of fulfilling that dream – a dream that would make America a more equitable nation where opportunity is not constantly overshadowed by the specter of crushing debt – or worse, life cut short – due to a person’s station in life or his bank balance when confronted with the awful choice of having expensive medical care or going without.

One of Kennedy’s great friends is Utah Senator Orrin Hatch, who co-wrote the above tribute to his friend and colleague. And yet Senator Hatch stands on the opposite side of Kennedy in the struggle for health care equality, still determined to thwart the ideal that all Americans should have access to the benefits of modern medicine that every member of Congress enjoys.

So here’s what I’m asking: Go to Senator Hatch’s YouTube page where he posted this song. Leave a polite and respectful comment urging Senator Hatch to fulfill Ted Kennedy’s legacy by voting for healthcare reform that would make the best of our national healthcare available to all. Please don’t argue with the folks who will disagree with you – this is Senator Hatch’s page and his personal tribute to his departed friend, and it wouldn’t be right to tarnish that. But one of the most ardent opponents of healthcare reform needs to hear our voices.

There’s no guarantee that it will change his vote. But if Senator Hatch hears our voices it will make it harder for him to vote against it, knowing he’ll be choking down the will of the people and forsaking a chance to make this land’s opportunity available to all of its citizens equally. And what a tribute it would be to see his friend’s dream realized.

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