WASHINGTON — The federal government should join the state of Massachusetts in enacting universal health coverage, said Sen. Edward Kennedy, the new chairman of the Senate committee with jurisdiction over numerous health issues.
Kennedy’s home state is the first to require everyone to have health insurance, just as drivers must have automobile coverage.
Kennedy has his own version of what universal health coverage would look like. He wants to extend Medicare to all. In his first hearing Wednesday as chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, the Massachusetts Democrat called on 10 witnesses from all over the country to talk about how to make health care more affordable.
“Insurance coverage is down. Costs are up. And America is heading to the bottom of the league of major nations in important measures of the quality of care,” Kennedy said.
Kennedy emphasized how Democratic legislators in his home state worked last year with Republican Gov. Mitt Romney in crafting universal coverage there. He wants the same spirit of compromise to take hold in Congress.
Republicans didn’t do the country any favors by increasing the size and scope of government like they did while they were in control. But now that the Dems have the reigns, look for them to make the Republicans appear like fiscally responsible small government geniuses. We ain’t seen nothin’ yet.
Update: Oh, and speaking of Senate agendas, here are some of the ideas the Kos Kids had yesterday after Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin asked them for suggestions on setting the Senate agenda.