An open letter to the U.S. House of Representatives and the Senate:
The other day I was listening to an interview with Vicki Kennedy, the widow of Sen. Ted Kennedy. I never met the man but as I listened to here stories of her time with him, tears almost fell, both from her telling of the love they shared but also from a sense of what this country lost from his passing that I admit I did not feel at the time of his death.
And I recall interviews I heard in the days after his death in which it was said health care reform was the major cause of his career as a senator and that health care legislation would be passed that would be his legacy.
The questions I have for you, dear senators and representatives, are these:
Is this legislation you are voting on something that will honor this great man's name? Is this something worthy of being called his legacy? It seems to me not.
It seems to be, dear Congress, that there is no rush. You still have time to get it right.
I beg you, do not settle for anything less than the best your imagination can conceive of, on this or any other issue, and if those around you can not imagine as well as you, then speak your heart. For if we were truly governed by democracy, would not the best ideas always rise to the top and after long discussion, would not the best ideas be chosen to guide our course of action? Is that not what we as a nation believe?
In these troubled times, we may do well to remember the words of the poet: "Let us not talk falsely now; the hour is getting late."