Former U.S. Sen. Chris Dodd took a walk down memory lane following the Supreme Court’s decision, while U.S. Sen. Joseph Lieberman was the last member of the Connecticut delegation to send out a statement on it.
When former U.S. Sen. Ted Kennedy became ill in 2008, he asked Dodd to oversee the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions and its’ work on health care reform.
On July 15, 2009, Dodd phoned Kennedy to inform him that the committee had passed its version of health care reform, the first committee to pass health legislation that would later be combined into the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.
The legislation was finally passed on Christmas Eve in 2009 after Kennedy’s death.
Following the vote, Dodd visited Kennedy’s grave in Arlington Cemetery for a few quiet moments with his friend.
Faced with ethics scandals, a general dissatisfaction with incumbents, and perhaps the passage of the health care bill, critics kept chipping away at Dodd’s popularity until he finally decided not to seek re-election in 2010, ending a long, storied career in the U.S. Senate.
In a statement released Thursday, Dodd, who is now head of the Motion Picture Association of America, celebrated the court’s ruling.
“The most conservative court in decades has ruled that the Affordable Care Act is constitutional, validating the work of President Obama and the Congress,” Dodd said. “Once and for all this should put to rest the attacks that have distracted the country from the important benefits the law offers the American people.”
Dodd hopes the decision puts the debate over the health care act behind us.
“For decades, we have worked tirelessly as a nation to provide decent, affordable health care to all Americans,“ he said. “Throughout that struggle, we recognized that change is hard and progress is always a long and difficult road. With the Court’s decision, it is time now for all of us to come together and move forward on implementing the law so that our nation can fulfill its promise of making affordable, quality health care a right of all Americans.”
Click here to read more about Dodd’s reflections on his Facebook page.
U.S. Sen. Joseph Lieberman, who was responsible for eliminating the public option during the legislative process, said he also was pleased with the court’s ruling.
“Now that the constitutional debate surrounding the ACA has been resolved, Congress should closely monitor the implementation of the law to ensure that it is fiscally sustainable in the future,“ Lieberman said in a prepared statement.
“There are many outstanding issues surrounding this law that will demand Congress’ attention in the years ahead, including the accommodation of religious concerns and sticking to commitments to cut health care delivery costs. Finally, it is imperative that we take the extremely important steps that are necessary to bring our nation’s spiraling debt under control and reform critical health care programs like Medicare to ensure that the benefits they provide remain available to future generations of Americans.”