Senator Ted Kennedy: A Member of the NAMI Family
August 26, 2009
Statement of Michael J. Fitzpatrick
Executive Director, National Alliance on Mental Illness
NAMI mourns the passing of U.S. Senator Edward M. Kennedy, a true champion for individuals and families affected by serious mental illness. This is a profound loss for the NAMI family.
We do not have to struggle to remember what Senator Kennedy accomplished in seeking to improve the lives of millions of Americans. The real challenge would be to try to recall what he didn’t do. His idealism moved the country. His pragmatism and ability to work with liberals and conservatives alike enacted legislation.
A year ago, along with his son Patrick, Senator Kennedy was a driving force in the enactment of the mental health insurance parity law. The parity law is one of the most significant victories of the past 10 years for people who live with mental illness. The full list is longer. It includes:
For more than three decades, Senator Kennedy has been a voice for universal health care coverage and reform.
His voice, perspective and wisdom will be greatly missed in the critical health care debate that is now before the nation.
Congress could do no greater honor than to pass meaningful health care reform this year—building on his legacy.
# # #