Skip to comments.Kennedy's legacy: Chappaquiddick end-of-life care
Posted on 09/02/2009 7:20:40 AM PDT by NMRed
You can bet your grandma's iron lung that under ObamaCare neither she nor you nor I will receive the end-of-life care provided to Kennedy... Democrats have proposed that health care reform legislation be named after Kennedy, to memorialize his voluminous efforts for nationalized health care. If so, conservatives should take note of another, darkly appropriate chapter of Kennedy's life and demand that any end-of-life provisions be called the Mary Jo Kopechne Rider.
(Excerpt) Read more at americanthinker.com ...
Birth: Jul. 26, 1940
Death: Jul. 19, 1969
Teacher and Administrator, she is most remembered for her controversial death in an automobile accident with Senator Edward Kennedy; the resulting political scandal caused Kennedy to reverse his decision to run for the US Presidency. Born in Forty Fort, Pennsylvania, she was the only child of insurance salesman Joseph and Gwen Kopechne. After graduating from Caldwell College, New Jersey, she taught at Montgomery Catholic High School in Montgomery, Alabama, and then moved to Washington DC to work as a secretary for Florida Senator George Smathers. Shortly afterwards, she went to work as a secretary for New York Senator Robert F. Kennedy following his election in 1964. After Senator Robert F. Kennedy's death in 1968, she moved to Matt Reese Associates, a Washington DC firm that helped politicians establish campaign headquarters, and it was there she met Senator Edward Kennedy, Robert Kennedy's younger brother.
On the evening of July 18, 1969, she attended a party on Chappaquiddick Island, near Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts, in honor of the "Boiler Room Girls," a name given to the six young women who had helped the late Senator Robert F. Kennedy during his presidential campaign, and who had closed up his files after his assassination in June 1968. All six of the women were single, and the six men in attendance were all married but present without their wives, and the attendees gathered for a late night party at the Lawrence Cottage, rented by Joe Gargan for the occasion.
Late that evening (the exact time is in dispute), Kennedy offered to drive Kopechne back to her hotel at the Katama Shores Motor Inn in Edgartown, and later claimed that he mistakenly took a wrong, right turn onto Dyke Road, a dirt road leading to a beach about a mile down the road, instead of turning left onto the paved Chappaquiddick Road leading to the ferryboat which they would need to use to go to Kopechne's motel.
A half-mile down Dyke Road, Kennedy drove off the side of the Dyke Bridge, and the car overturned into Poucha Pond. Kennedy got out of the overturned car, but Kopechne failed to exit the car and died. Kopechne's body was recovered later that morning; the diver reporting that Kopechne had positioned herself near the back seat wheel well where an air pocket had formed, and had apparently suffocated rather than drowned. Her parents ruled out an autopsy, so the cause of death was never officially determined.
Senator Kennedy later pleaded guilty to leaving the scene of an accident after causing injury, for which he received a two-month suspended sentence and one year probation. Kopechne's death and Kennedy's failure to properly deal with the accident, along with numerous discrepancies in his account of what happened, damaged his reputation and is regarded by many as the major reason that he decided to cancel his run for the presidency in 1972 and subsequent years.
Kopechne's funeral was held on July 22, 1969, at St. Vincent's Roman Catholic Church in Plymouth, Pennsylvania, and she was buried in the parish cemetery there.
(bio by: Kit and Morgan Benson)
Saint Vincents Cemetery
The new family tombstone, erected after the death of Mary Jo's mother in December, 2007.
Added by: Geoff Wilson, 9/04/2008
August 28, 2009
"Edward Klein, speaking to WAMU guest host Katty Kay, said one of Kennedy's 'favorite topics of humor was, indeed, Chappaquiddick.'
"He would ask people, 'Have you heard any new jokes about Chappaquiddick?' said Klein, a former Newsweek foreign editor and former editor in chief of the New York Times Magazine."
YouTube video: Kennedy liked to joke about Chappaquiddick
"This isn't an accusation from Ted Kennedy's political opponents, but a nostalgic remembrance by one of his friends. Ed Klein, former Newsweek editor, tells the Diane Rehm Show:
"I dont know if you know this or not, but one of his favorite topics of humor was indeed Chappaquiddick itself. And he would ask people, have you heard any new jokes about Chappaquiddick? That is just the most amazing thing. Its not that he didnt feel remorse about the death of Mary Jo Kopechne, but that he still always saw the other side of everything and the ridiculous side of things, too."
Kennedy’s care apparently cost hundreds of thousands of dollars and led to a median expected survival time, i.e. roughly 12 months. Current estimates of the willingness-to-pay value of life used in cost-effectiveness studies place the value of one quality-adjusted life year (i.e., 1 extra year of life at optimal health, which Kennedy’s surely was not) at about $100,000 or so. Thus, if under health reform we established a group of experts to determine what treatments are sufficiently cost effective to warrant public funding, Kennedy’s care could never have gotten approval.
Thus, the “cause of his life” for which Senator Kennedy fought was for universal tax-financed health coverage that would have excluded the very care that he received to extend his life 1 year (and most of which, by virtue of being a Senator, was tax-financed!). No wonder Congress has no interest in being bound by the coverage restrictions they know will be coming under the basic health benefits plan that would be given to all the rest of us peons.
The truth is, indeed, stranger than fiction.
Thanks for the link!
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