Ted Kennedy's coming back to the US Senate.
Sen. Edward Kennedy’s brain cancer is in remission and he is expected back in the Senate after the Memorial Day recess to spearhead healthcare reform, according to Democratic colleagues.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) said Tuesday that he spoke with Kennedy’s wife, Vicki, in the past few days and was told the 77-year-old lawmaker is “doing fine.” [...]
Kennedy, the chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee, has been mostly absent from the chamber for the past year, recovering in Florida and Massachusetts.
He is expected to lead a markup of highly anticipated health reform legislation in his first month back - one of the biggest bills of the year and a signature domestic initiative for President Obama.
Not only is it great to see Ted Kennedy back up and around, we sorely need his leadership on health care reform. We need a Ted Kennedy to balance out a Max Baucus. I'd like to see Teddy bring his moral authority to bear on these financing options for health care, for example. Right now it's sealed off - the health care system is paying for health care reform. And that might work in the short term. But when the industries involved fail to cut costs, or the numbers don't add up, someone in the room will need to talk about the need for those who use the commons the most, the wealthiest among us, to kick in. Similarly, we need someone with authority to tell the unions to back off of Democrats trying to figure out how to fund this thing, for example by capping the tax exemption on employer benefits.
That man is Ted Kennedy. And he's our best hope for really getting this done sensibly. It'll be good to see him back.