I know I'm stealing someone's thunder today.
Our Beloved Senator went home last night to be with his brothers early this morning.
I've gone through the motions of my morning routine so far today, but can hardly focus on the tasks at hand. I...my hands are shaking.
The world is a little darker today.
I could write volumes about the man today, but let me just say this. Personally, how important is Senator Kennedy to me?
I owe him my job...my career...my livelihood.
Back in 1996, Senator Kennedy joined forces with a Republican Senator from Kansas by the name of Cassenbaum. They crafted a little healthcare reform that President Clinton signed into law that October. Us old-timers still call it the "Kennedy-Cassenbaum bill", but you probably know it better as "HIPAA". In addition to creating the COBRA program and updating healthcare privacy rules, this bill standardized electronic claims submission formats and set a hard deadline, and literally created the healthcare electronic data interchange industry overnight.
I've been working in the business ever since.
We knew this was coming; the fact that the Senator was too sick to attend his own sister's funeral earlier this month was the writing on the wall for us in this Commonwealth. But it doesn't make it any easier. President Obama is here on the vineyard this week, and just Monday categorically denied that he was heading to the Cape to visit. I can only conclude that they knew the end was near.
None of that makes this any easier.
I'm more than shellshocked this morning. I'm going to go back and watch some more coverage, but I think many of us on the left are looking at the TV with open-mouthed horror and sadness thinking....
"What do we do now?"