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Carter says Kennedy delayed health care years ago

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WASHINGTON --- Former President Jimmy Carter says Americans could have had comprehensive health care coverage decades ago if Sen. Edward M. Kennedy hadn't blocked a plan Carter had proposed.

Carter revisited the old spat in an interview with CBS' 60 Minutes to be aired Sunday. Portions of the interview, prompted by the publication of his White House diary, were posted on the program's website Thursday.

"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 said in the interview. "It was his fault. Ted Kennedy killed the bill."

Carter cast his Democratic rival as spiteful. "He did not want to see me have a major success in that realm of life," Carter said.
The Massachusetts senator unsuccessfully challenged Carter for the 1980 Democratic presidential nomination. Carter then lost to Republican Ronald Reagan.

Kennedy, who made health care reform a prized cause, died in August 2009 from brain cancer.

The disagreement over health care is noted in Carter's latest book, White House Diary. According to a 60 Minutes statement, Carter wrote at the time: "Kennedy continuing his irresponsible and abusive attitude, immediately condemning our health plan. He couldn't get five votes for his plan."

Kennedy and Carter had competing health care reform plans while Carter was president. Kennedy favored a more comprehensive approach that would have insured all Americans against health care costs regardless of age or income. Carter backed a more moderate proposal that would have been phased in over several years.

In his 2009 memoir, True Compass, Kennedy blamed Carter for dragging his feet on health care and wrote that Carter viewed his health care efforts as a platform to challenge his presidency.

"If that's why he slowed things down, then he made a poor political calculation," Kennedy wrote. "If we had passed comprehensive national health insurance together, it would have been a huge victory for Carter."

When asked in interviews about his biggest regret as a senator, Kennedy often recalled his failure to make a deal to pass President Richard Nixon's sweeping health care proposal in the early 1970s. Kennedy said that at the time he did not think it went far enough.

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chascush
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chascush 09/16/10 - 10:39 pm
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It is a close contest on

It is a close contest on which one was dumber peanut head Carter or the drunk, Kennedy.

crackerjack
162
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crackerjack 09/16/10 - 10:40 pm
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Just like Carter, attack

Just like Carter, attack someone that can't fight back. What a lowlife! He's never met a dictator he didn't like.

Little Lamb
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Little Lamb 09/16/10 - 10:52 pm
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Jimmuh Cahtah said: "He [Ted

Jimmuh Cahtah said:

"He [Ted Kennedy] did not want to see me have a major success in that realm of life,"

Cahtah never had major success in any realm of life; not even in teaching Sunday School at Plains Baptist Church.

chascush
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chascush 09/16/10 - 11:03 pm
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Old peanut head is the 2nd

Old peanut head is the 2nd worst president ever to one we have now.

gaspringwater
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gaspringwater 09/16/10 - 11:31 pm
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chascush - You're reading the

chascush - You're reading the Republican scorecard and it's just political and irrelevant. The history professors have the final word.

pointstoponder
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pointstoponder 09/17/10 - 12:45 am
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Every time Jimmy opens his

Every time Jimmy opens his mouth, he inserts his foot. I regret voting for him in '76, but I was rather peeved at Nixon/Ford at the time.

Brad Owens
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Brad Owens 09/17/10 - 04:04 am
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Little Lamb, Comeon now,

Little Lamb,

Comeon now, Carter may have been a failure as President but he DID get elected and if that isn't an accomplishment please tell me what is.

He also was Governor of Georgia, no small feat.

You arch conservatives are in a bind here aren't you, I mean who do you hate more, Jimmuh Cahtah or Teddy Kennedy?

The fact is, I trust what President Carter is saying. It sounds just like a Kennedy to use an issue to set himself up for a run against someone from his own party. Kennedy 'regrets' not working with Nixon? He blames Carter for it? Yeah, RIGHT!

I guess it misses the point about IF this is the right thing to do in the first place.

We need health insurance reform before we need socialized medicine.

Brad

RoadkiII
6830
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RoadkiII 09/17/10 - 05:16 am
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HISTORY itself will be the

HISTORY itself will be the deciding factor, not the professors. That is a major problem with our education system today. Educators teaching what they think is right, not the facts as they happened.

johnston.cliff
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johnston.cliff 09/17/10 - 06:13 am
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Even Carter and Kennedy

Even Carter and Kennedy couldn't stand each other. They both caused harm to this country and the survivor complains because he couldn't cause more.
Both, together, didn't do the damage the "mistake in the white house" is doing.

corgimom
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corgimom 09/17/10 - 06:39 am
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"You arch conservatives are

"You arch conservatives are in a bind here aren't you, I mean who do you hate more, Jimmuh Cahtah or Teddy Kennedy?"

Well, at least Jimmy Carter didn't murder anybody.

seabeau
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seabeau 09/17/10 - 06:56 am
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Jimmy Carter tried to get the

Jimmy Carter tried to get the US off the OIL TEAT. We could have started weaning the country from foreign oil in the 1970's. I believe our involvement in tangled mess of the Middle East would have been greatly mininized. Rember Carter was in first Washington outsider who tried to force major change on Capital Hill .

billoftt
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billoftt 09/17/10 - 07:28 am
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Notice how Carter waited

Notice how Carter waited until Kennedy was dead before talking smack about him, it speaks volumes for his character.

themaninthemirror
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themaninthemirror 09/17/10 - 07:29 am
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The only difference between

The only difference between Jimmy Carter and Barry Obama is that we currently do not have double digit interest rates. But wait, he still has another 24+ months to go.

getalife
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getalife 09/17/10 - 07:34 am
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Carter should not comment on

Carter should not comment on anything, he should only open his mouth to change feet.

seenitB4
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seenitB4 09/17/10 - 07:36 am
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Please Jimmy.....please go to

Please Jimmy.....please go to that swing on your farm & really retire. You could learn to like retirement....maybe even blog on here.
Yikes.

sgachief
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sgachief 09/17/10 - 07:50 am
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carter was incompetent,

carter was incompetent, kennedy was a drunken murderer!!!

chascush
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chascush 09/17/10 - 08:41 am
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‘chascush - You're reading

‘chascush - You're reading the Republican scorecard and it's just political and irrelevant. The history professors have the final word.’
I am not a repub I am an independent conservative. I don’t need a professor to tell me what I see with my on eyes. The man is a fool who has no idea how the private sector works because has never had a private job nor has 93% of his advisers.

gaspringwater
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gaspringwater 09/17/10 - 09:26 am
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chascush - Here's the

chascush - Here's the professors List and sorry none of you Independents have ever got on it. But you'll notice Georgia first citizen, Mr. Carter is in 25th place while Texas' first citizen, Dubya is in 36th place.

Historians Presidential Leadership Survey
http://www.c-span.org/PresidentialSurvey/Overall-Ranking.aspx

Jake
36866
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Jake 09/17/10 - 09:38 am
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I tend to believe Carter. It

I tend to believe Carter. It was obvious from the onset of his administration that he was regarded as an outsider and therefore did not get the full support from even his own party.

gaspringwater
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gaspringwater 09/17/10 - 10:28 am
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Jimmy Carter tried to wean

Jimmy Carter tried to wean the country on fossil fuels. He prodded America to move beyond oil in a nationally televised speech 33 years ago. ( Unless the U.S. changed course, Carter warned in 1977, “We will feel mounting pressure to plunder the environment. We will…drill more offshore wells.” How’s that for depressing? ). Smart us, we gobbled more oil.

Jimmy Carter, a nuclear man himself, promoted solar energy and even put solar panels on the White House. Ronald Reagan took them off. Just not good business for the oil companies. And smart us we built nuclear plants.

Jimmy Carter tried to slow down America's weapons making frenzy. President Carter said we cannot be both the world's leading champion of peace and the world's leading supplier of the weapons of war. Smart us we built new generations of missiles and accelerated the arms race.

RoadKing09
101
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RoadKing09 09/17/10 - 11:01 am
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Jimmy's trying to sell his

Jimmy's trying to sell his book. He couldn't care less what we say about him. He'll be laughing all the way to the bank with the help of newspapers and 60 Minutes.

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