Rep. Joe Kennedy Chokes Up About Healthcare: My Intern’s ‘Life Was Saved Twice’


On a Tuesday edition of Morning Joe, Democratic Congressmen Thomas Suozzi and Joe Kennedy III joined co-host Mika Brzezinski for a discussion about the American Health Care Act.

“What are you going to do, are you just going to watch this train wreck?” asked Brzezinski, setting the tone of the discussion early.

“There is certainly no glee because this has a real impact on people’s lives,” said Suozzi, who added that when it came to Obamacare, he ran on a campaign of “mend it, don’t end it.”

Things took a dramatic turn when panelist and Washington Post columnist, Eugene Robinson, asked Rep. Kennedy what the Democratic plan might be should the GOP replacement get bogged down. From there, the Congressman launched into an emotional soliloquy.

In that hearing for 28 hours that I was in last week, while you heard story after story from my Republican colleagues saying how disastrous this was, there was also an intern in there for a lot of it from my office whose life was saved twice by the Affordable Care Act, she’s 25 year’s old and had cancer now twice, and because of the Affordable Care Act, not only did she get access to the treatment that she needed, but her family could afford it, she could get insurance and she’s covered now going forward.

Midway through, Kennedy choked up slightly.

You cannot deny that this law has done some very good things to some people in need and that at its heart is supposed to be what healthcare is all about. It’s about how we treat each other in a time of need. And the idea that the answer to that question for some of my Republican colleagues is stripping people from healthcare, giving them so-called choice between paying their mortgage and paying their health insurance and their medication and saying that’s good for our country, that’s just mind boggling.

“Joe’s right on point,” said a somewhat overshadowed Suozzi. “These are people’s lives we’re talking about.”

[image via screengrab]

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