It's one of life's savage ironies that as the healthcare reform debate heats up, including the to and fro over how best to cover the uninsured and underinsured, Sen. Ted Kennedy, chairman of a Senate committee central to the debate, isn't on Capitol Hill as he continues to deal with his own medical crisis, a cancerous brain tumor.
The liberal Kennedy's absence is being felt because he is the consummate deal maker, much liked and trusted, even by conservative Republicans. Julie Rovner, NPR's undisputed expert on healthcare, reported on Morning Edition on what it means that Kennedy isn't on the Hill in person to do the kind of horse-trading for which he's renowned.
By the way, if you really want to understand the state of play in the healthcare debate, listen to Rovner's NPR reports or the recent radio panels she's been on. Last week, she appeared on "The Diane Rehm Show" and on "On Point with Tom Ashbrook"