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By Mark DeSaulnier

I am saddened by the passing of Senator Edward M. Kennedy, a champion for social justice.

Senator Kennedy's dedication to health care reform demonstrated a commitment to honoring human rights and to the enrichment of the common wealth before personal wealth.

The centerpiece of Senator Kennedy’s historic health care bill is the public option.

I am on the record as an unequivocal supporter of the public option as the centerpiece of health care reform legislation. In memory of Senator Kennedy, I am proud to promise again today to sign the letter to Secretary Kathleen Sebelius confirming that any final proposal without a public option will not win my vote.

The only entity large enough to create an organization capable of introducing competition into the health insurance market is the federal government.

Today, we must pay tribute to a great American; tomorrow we must pick up the mantle and achieve his goal. Senator Kennedy's legacy demands nothing less than the passage of comprehensive health care for all.

With deep sympathy for the Kennedy family,

Mark DeSaulnier

Originally posted to Mark DeSaulnier on Wed Aug 26, 2009 at 05:42 PM PDT.

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