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.