I was 3 years old when Ted Kennedy became my senator. I benefited directly from his legislative efforts as a schoolgirl with access to Title IX gender equality in sports, as a college student with access to financial aid programs, as a working woman with access to family leave, and now as a disabled American with access to SSDI and Medicare benefits. My life, like that of millions of Americans, was truly better in a direct and palpable way because of his life of public service. Without medicare, I would join the countless Americans who are bankrupt and unable to afford medical care.
Senator Kennedy's life demonstrated that a statesman is not measured by the gleam of his earthly halo but by the diligence and unwavering determination with which he services the interests of the least powerful of his constituents. I pray that the beacon of his life will inspire lessor legislators to rise above self service and pandering and join hands to enable access to healthcare for all America. There can be no greater tribute to the life of Senator Kennedy than by taking action to ensure the right of Americans to health care.
His passing is loss to us all. May God rest his soul and bless his family.