Put Kennedy's name on a weakened bill, and you'll likely be able to break the progressive bloc in the House in two seconds flat when "the Kennedy bill" comes out of conference with the individual mandate but no public option, and progressives are faced with having to oppose "the Kennedy bill." As strong as they've been on holding firm in their demands, putting the Kennedy name on a weak bill -- and remember, nothing at all prevents this -- can only drain their resolve. . . [I]t serves us and the Senator's memory better if our essential element -- a strong public option -- carries his name instead. . .
With the Kennedy Health Care Plan intact in the bill, there's no reason the legislative vehicle that creates it cannot also bear his name. But while there's still a fight ahead about just what will be in this bill, if we're going to lend Ted Kennedy's name to something, let it be done in a way that keeps him in the fight to fulfill his vision right to the last, and which keeps his name on people's lips when they are finally able to take their families to the doctor without fear of financial ruin, saying, "We're covered by the Kennedy Plan."
And in the hands of Phoenix Woman, the cold and ambiguous public option becomes a warm teddy:
As both David "Kagro X" Waldman and Jane Hamsher point out, naming a bad bill after Teddy is an insult to his memory. It's better to name the key thing he wanted, the one thing that was non-negotiable to him, after him: The public option. In that spirit, I decided to break out the graphics program and create a little Teddy for Teddy, and call it "Tedicare".