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What Do You Think?

August 30, 2009

Editor's note: The Herald-Mail invites readers to answer poll questions on www.herald-mail.com. Readers also may submit comments about the poll question when voting. A sampling of edited reader comments will run on The Herald-Mail's Opinion page on Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday.

The question posted Wednesday was: Do you think the death of U.S. Sen. Edward "Ted" Kennedy will have an effect on the outcome of health care legislation?

· "Apparently, some in Congress are now cheering, 'Do it for Ted!' (regarding the passing of the current health care legislation). How about, 'Don't do it for the people!' When is Congress going to remember that they represent us and not their affiliate party? The health care legislation, as it stands, does nothing to fix the root problems with the health care industry and will only add to the bureaucracy. Call Congress and demand that they add tort and pharmaceutical ethics reform to the bill. Then, the people might support it."

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· "I'm sure some members of Congress and the White House will try and steer popular opinion using Kennedy's passing, but I doubt it'll work. The bottom line is that Kennedy went to one of the best hospitals in the country and had the best doctors, all the best care he could get. This was all care that he wouldn't have gotten if he was an average citizen if the plan passes. If the care under the plan isn't good enough for members of Congress, then it shouldn't be good enough for regular joes."

· "That any bill would get passed because of any man's death is absurd. This is not a good bill for the American people and that has not changed just because Ted Kennedy died."

· "I think the question would be better represented from the public if the word 'should' was used in place of 'will.' No, I don't think his death 'should' have an effect on the outcome on health care. Will his death have an effect? The outcome should not be weighted on a dead person (respectfully said)."

· "I voted yes. There are some moderate Republican senators who will now vote for health care reform as a final tribute to Sen. Kennedy."

· "Voting for a bill as serious as this is not something to be done as a tribute to someone. If one of the Republican opponents of the bill died, should the Senate vote against it in his or her honor? That would be equally ridiculous."

· "I voted yes and hope that it prevents the legislation from being passed. I believe that insurance and tort reform is what Congress should be pursuing, not health care reform. With due respect to Sen. Kennedy and condolences to his family, I believe that his passing spotlighted a problem that we have in our Congress. Many members have been there for 15 years or more, and are passionate about their causes, party loyalty, assignments, contributions and status. Many appear to be consumed with their career paths rather than being consumed representing their constituency."

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