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Jimmy Carter Blames Ted Kennedy for Health Care Reform Delays

3 years ago
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If not for the political maneuvering and delaying tactics of the late Sen. Ted Kennedy (D-Mass.), Americans would have had comprehensive health care coverage decades ago, says Jimmy Carter in an interview with CBS' "60 Minutes."

The former president tells correspondent Lesley Stahl that Kennedy acted out of a political grudge to kill a health care bill pushed by Carter.

"The fact is that we would have had comprehensive health care now, had it not been for Ted Kennedy's deliberately blocking the legislation that I proposed," Carter says. "It was his fault. Ted Kennedy killed the bill."

Kennedy, who promoted his own health care bill and later ran against Carter for the Democratic nomination for president, was willing to delay progress on an issue the senator cared about in order to score political points, the former president says.

"He did not want to see me have a major success in that realm of life," Carter says about Kennedy.

Carter is promoting a new book, "White House Diary."

The interview will run Sunday at 7 p.m. ET on CBS.
Filed Under: Health Care, Ted Kennedy

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51 Comments

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dsh1007155

Ever since Carter told the truth about Israel not really wanting peace with the Palestinians, the pro-Israel propaganda machine has done everything to discredit him. It won't work. He has more experience with that issue than any current or former American politician.

September 17 2010 at 4:06 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
2 replies to dsh1007155's comment
enrickue

Carter had absolutely NO FOREIGN policy when he was president. So why is it now he has all the answers? And/or, why do you believe him? Secondly, him commenting on the healthcare idea is funny, since he is EXEMPT from it. So how does he know it's a good thing. Lower quality healthcare at a more expensive price, fewer doctors, and price tags on how much is going to be spent on one's healthcare. The healthcare czar, Donald Berwick advocates a healthcare program based upon the British model which limits how much care is given to the elderly, instead diverting it to the young who have a longer life to live. How can any of this be good? Secondly, why would you trust anyone commenting about something they are EXEMPT from? Just out of curiosity, why was the selling of gold included in the healthcare idea? Yep, it's in there.

September 18 2010 at 8:05 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
Mark

This would be the same Carter who said that the plan to free the hostages in Iran should have worked? It may have worked if he hadn't scaled it back to the point that the military had less resources than needed after some of the aircraft were lost. The only good thing he ever did as president was going to three mile island personally. Carter is much better as an ex president than he ever was as president. He's still misguided but, building homes for people who help build them is not a bad idea..........

September 19 2010 at 4:33 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
mh326z

It's obvious that Jimmy Carter is still bitter about Ted Kennedy's challenge to him for the 1980 Democratic nomination, but this is pathetic! 1980 was thirty years ago, Ted Kennedy is dead, and Carter is still bitterly attacking him. Jimmy Carter lost in 1980 because he was an incompetent president, not because Ted Kennedy challenged him for the Demcoratic nomination. I agree with ginione2: Carter should retire from public life. He is not serving his country well by continuing to spew vengeful venom upon a dead man! Some Nobel Peace Prize winner!

September 17 2010 at 12:45 PM Report abuse +6 rate up rate down Reply
johnlab1

Not to worry.. soon all the dems will be gone. What a great day it will be.

September 17 2010 at 12:33 PM Report abuse +19 rate up rate down Reply
ccrqa

I guess we owe old Teddy a big Thank You. Carter needs to go home keep his mouth shut and build houses. He represents no one in a political sense anymore.

September 17 2010 at 12:30 PM Report abuse +7 rate up rate down Reply
scott7841

Jimmy, Jimmy, Jimmy,............Don't you understand that your a democrat and that your not supposed to blame another democrat? It has o be Bush's fault or some other republican. It appears you are now trying to use the Obama strategy of blame someone else as to why you were a failure at being president.

September 17 2010 at 12:18 PM Report abuse +16 rate up rate down Reply
truthforfreedom

Maybe he's at that age where his thinking is becoming muddled. As people age they become unable to think and so just feelings come out. They also become very egotistical. I think he should retire from public life and live in peace. He can't possibly think that this will make him look better! Poor man.

September 17 2010 at 11:20 AM Report abuse +4 rate up rate down Reply
ptleftie

"It was his fault..Ted Kennedy killed the bill". Maybe because he knew your plan wasn't good enough, Mr. President...ever think of that?

September 17 2010 at 11:14 AM Report abuse +3 rate up rate down Reply
ptleftie

Did President Carter "suddenly" realize this? Carter's Presidency ended in 1981, and he just now is going public with these recollections. Mr. President, you're going to recieve a lot of flak for this..I hope you're prepared for that. As for the subject matter of Carter's claim, perhaps this did happen, but it's quite possible that the reason is because Kennedy's plan was better for the country than was that of President Carter.

September 17 2010 at 11:05 AM Report abuse -6 rate up rate down Reply
ptleftie

Hey Mr. President, was your health care plan going to help the country? Ted Kennedy didn't think so, and Kennedy was more versed in health care policy than you were.

September 17 2010 at 10:55 AM Report abuse -6 rate up rate down Reply
Alan

I would like AFFORDABLE health care too. Unfortunately, with the "health care reform" already passed and signed into law (but not yet in effect) my premiums have skyrocketed - and they were already high enough. Co-pays went up and coverage went down. Thanks for the reform.

September 17 2010 at 9:46 AM Report abuse +26 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Alan's comment
enrickue

Wait till your costs go up and the quality of healthcare you get goes down. Add to that, your doctor decides to give up medicine because he won't be able to afford to stay in business. Medicare reimbursements are going down by 21%. Soon, no doctor will take medicare. When your doictor decides not to give you that steroid pain for your inflamation, instead gives you tylenol and tells you to "man-up" and take the pain. Just hope you never grow old. As you do, the amount of treatment will go down, and govt will hope you die off so they can save money. Ask Donald Berwick what he thinks about healthcare for the elderly. By the way, he's exempt from our healthcare coverage.

September 18 2010 at 8:12 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply

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