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Kennedy calls for universal health coverage

Published January 11, 2007


The federal government should join the state of Massachusetts in enacting universal health coverage, said Sen. Edward Kennedy, the new chairman of the Senate committee with jurisdiction over numerous health issues. Kennedy's home state is the first to require everyone to have health insurance, just as drivers must have automobile coverage. In his first hearing Wednesday as chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, the Massachusetts Democrat called on 10 witnesses to talk about how to make health care more affordable.

Senator miffed about missed vote

New Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid's determination to run the chamber more efficiently earned him a rebuke Wednesday from former Majority Leader Robert Byrd after voting on an amendment was cut off before Byrd reached the floor. Byrd, 89, D-W.Va., said the Senate "never has been an efficient body. That is not the way legislation is done in a body such as ours." Byrd, who often walks with the aid of two canes, said his staff had informed the Democratic cloakroom that he was in the building but "the leadership arbitrarily closed the vote." Reid, D-Nev., reminded senators on Monday that he would no longer tolerate votes running far past the usual 15 minutes with a five-minute overrun.


[Last modified January 11, 2007, 01:28:55]

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