WASHINGTON – Edward M. Kennedy may have died of brain cancer last year, but that has not softened Jimmy Carter’s assessment of his rival for the 1980 Democratic presidential nomination.
In a “60 Minutes’’ interview to be aired Sunday, Carter blames Kennedy for delaying comprehensive health care coverage for Americans by not joining forces with him on a bill during his presidency.
If Kennedy had dropped his insistence on full national health insurance and endorsed Carter’s compromise plan, the former president says, repeating views he and aides have held for decades, Americans could have had universal coverage long ago.
“The fact is that we would have had comprehensive health care now, had it not been for Ted Kennedy’s deliberately blocking the legislation that I proposed,’’ Carter tells Lesley Stahl, according to a “60 Minutes’’ press release.
“It was his fault. Ted Kennedy killed the bill.’’