In a Newsweek article, Sen. Kennedy writes about universal health care, "the cause of my life".
He writes about his experiences when his son Teddy had cancer as a child and how other parents who did not have resources plead with doctors:
What chance does my child have if I can only afford half of the prescribed treatments? Or two thirds? I've sold everything. I've mortgaged as much as possible. No parent should suffer that torment. Not in this country. Not in the richest country in the world.
That experience with Teddy made it clear to me, as never before, that health care must be affordable and available for every mother or father who hears a sick child cry in the night and worries about the deductibles and copays if they go to the doctor. But that was just one medical crisis. My family, like every other, has faced many—at every stage of life. I think of my parents and the medical care they needed after their strokes. I think of my son Patrick, who suffered serious asthma as a child and sometimes had to be rushed to the hospital for treatment. (For this reason, we had no dogs in the house when Patrick was young.) I think of my daughter, Kara, diagnosed with lung cancer in 2002. Few doctors were willing to try an operation. One did—and after that surgery and arduous rounds of chemotherapy and radiation, she's alive and healthy today. My family has had the care it needed. Other families have not, simply because they could not afford it.
Sen. Kennedy writes about the history of efforts toward universal health care by others, including Truman, Teddy Roosevelt and the Clinton administration. He notes how John Kennedy supported Medicare. Sen. Kennedy also notes that in the 1970's he introduced a bill for health care that was lost in the aftermath of the Watergate scandal in 1974. (A timeline of his own efforts, including legislation he has supported, can be found here.) He explains how, over his long career, he predicted that businesses would eventually join on in realizing changes were necessary and outlines the current situation and what changes are necessary.
You can read the rest of the piece here.