Ted Kennedy's Dying Wish

Reprinted from JRichard's Gather blog. -- GH

Ted Kennedy's dying wish is no secret. He wanted to vote to bring in health care reform.

The right wing and the insurance industry denied him his dying wish. They played delaying tactics until he died. They spread lie after lie after lie about health care reform to try and stop it, and they kept delaying passage. "What is the rush?" Well, the reason for the rush is obvious. It was really always obvious. Ted Kennedy was dying, and everyone knew it. He was the biggest supporter of health care. It was his life work. It would cut into insurance company profits if he succeeded. If they could just delay things until after he was dead, things would be SO much easier for them.

But right now I need to introduce you to three of my friends. Don't worry. They are all safely dead, and have been for many years.

Ray Villa was perhaps the nicest person I ever knew. He was handsome, shy, soft spoken, and would do anything for a friend. He always went out of his way to make things better for others, and he never took advantage of anyone. He wanted to find his one true love and settle down, but he died before he could find the right person, locked in a room where food would get shoved in and left.

Rudy Tadena -- otherwise know as Dori -- was a pugnacious young man, very pushy, but still loyal to his friends. He had a strong opinion about everything, and was never afraid to share it. He was more interested in one night stands than romance. He died alone in his apartment.

Chasen Gaver was just loads of fun. He was always joking, creating poems, flirting with everyone. He set up a poetry group which I attended, where he was always the center of attention. Chasen was the lucky one. He died with friends.

All of them died of AIDS related complications. And all of them died not long before the drug cocktails came out that kept AIDS from being a death sentence.

Bad luck? Not really. You see, the insurance companies had decided that paying AIDS patients cut too much into their profits. So they just refused to pay for medical treatment for people with AIDS. They had it calculated out. It cost them less money to play delaying tactics in the courts until the victim died than it would cost to pay for the medical treatment to keep them alive.

So my friends died.

If the insurance companies had paid thier medical bills, they may have lived long enough for the new treatments. They might still be alive today. There is no way to know for sure. All I know is that the insurance companies took away the CHANCE for that to happen for many people.

Just as they took away Ted Kennedy's chance to fulfill his dying wish.

My friends were the people Ted Kennedy has been fighting for.

The insurance companies won their fight against my friends. My friends are dead. They cannot come back. No one has to pay their health care bills any more. The insurance companies have won their fight against Ted Kennedy. He is dead. He will never see health care reform, nuch less get to vote on it.

But they have not yet won their fight against Ted Kennedy's dream.

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