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Massachusetts health care — wonky, with a healthy dose of reality

Senator Kirk Cites HCFA Helpline

Senator Kirk Cites HCFA Helpline

December 17, 2009

In a stirring Senate floor speech yesterday drawing on the legacy of Senator Kennedy, Senator Kirk again brought up the HCFA Helpline as an example of why we need health reform:

Senator Kirk told the Senators about Carol, who was uninsured and suffered from seizures. Carol's story, taken from a HCFA blog post, continued:

She learned about the assistance of Health Care For All, the Massachusetts organization dedicated to making quality, affordable health care accessible to everyone. She applied and was declared eligible for Commonwealth Care. She immediately went to see a specialist and was given the health care she needed. Carol expressed her gratitude in these words:

I definitely feel blessed to be a Massachusetts resident. I can’t thank Health Care For All and MassHealth enough for all the support given to me. The Helpline counselors literally held my hands and brought me to live a healthy life, where there is no fear or embarrassment, but there is knowledge and a total control of my seizures. So, thank you so much all of you who make this happen in people’s lives

Senator Kirk ended with a call to pass a health reform bill that honors Senator Kennedy's lifelong quest for justice:

Senator Kennedy understood that we are all connected to one another. He often referred to President Lincoln’s words about our common humanity and the good that can come to us all when touched ‘‘by the better angels of our nature.’’ And he knew that on no issue are our futures more connected than on health care. Ted Kennedy’s voice still echoes in this Chamber. His spirit of hope and strength, of determination and perseverance is still felt here. He said:

"For all my years in public life, I have believed that America must sail toward the shores of liberty and justice for all. There is no end to that journey, only the next great voyage. We know the future will outlast all of us, but I believe that all of us will live on in the future we make."

Let each of us in this Senate be moved by the better angels of our nature and make that future a better one for our generation and for generations to come. As Ted Kennedy said 40 years ago: ‘‘All we need is the will.’’ This is our time, Mr. President. Let us pass this legislation now.