According to Michael O'Brien, a reporter for The Hill newspaper, Sen. Robert C. Byrd (D-WV) thinks that the health care reform bill should be named for Sen. Edward M. Kennedy (D-MA):
In his honor and as a tribute to his commitment to his ideals, let us stop the shouting and name calling and have a civilized debate on health care reform which I hope, when legislation has been signed into law, will bear his name for his commitment to insuring the health of every American.
It "seems like a no-brainer," Steve Benen, who blogs for The Washington Monthly, writes. "I don't imagine changing the name of the bill to honor Kennedy will necessarily change the equation, but it would be a gracious gesture."
The idea seems to be gaining traction, Politico reports:
Jennifer Duffy, a senior editor at the Cook Political Report, said the news will strengthen Democrats' resolve to get a bill passed. But it's unclear whether they will work harder to get a bipartisan bill that can pass the Senate or decide to go it alone.
"Maybe, at least within the Senate, it takes on a more civilized and bit more somber tone," Duffy said.