Senator Kennedy’s “Poison Pill”

Nino M. Camardese, MD
Article Type: 
Fall 1996
Volume Number: 
Issue Number: 

In a speech on the floor of the Senate June 24, 1996, Senator Edward Kennedy (D-MA) claimed: “There is no clamor for Medical Savings Accounts except from special interest groups who see an opportunity for profits.” He demonized MSAs as the “poison pill” preventing passage of the Kassebaum-Kennedy “health insurance portability” bill (H.R. 3103) and accused Congressional Republicans of killing this bill to help their wealthy friends and of being “under the hand of Golden Rule Insurance Company.” Senator Kennedy says MSAs are a bad idea which can’t possibly work.

Kennedy urged Congress to “do something decent for the American public and pass the bill [without MSAs].”

Dear Senator Kennedy,
Good morning. In its wisdom the Ohio Legislature just passed MSAs. Thank God and Representative Dale Van Vyven.

It is our dutiful responsibility and our turn now to preserve our great heritage of freedom and pass it on to future generations.

Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness are natural rights — not rights bestowed by the state. Our government has the duty to secure these natural rights and not plunder them. This duty is a responsibility both by appointment to office and by oath of office — i.e. to defend and uphold the U.S. Constitution.

Medical savings accounts are the embodiment of the Declaration of Independence:

1. MSAs empower the individual (patient) — life.

2. MSAs defend freedom of choice — liberty.

3. MSAs promote accumulation of wealth for the individual and/or family — pursuit of happiness.

All American citizens, including people on Medicaid and Medicare, have natural rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness — to MSAs. These rights are inalienable, indivisible, non-negotiable, and noncompromisable.

On the possibility of punitive measures for innocent error(s) the Kassebaum-Kennedy Health Care Reform Bill is a litany of political arrogance and criminalization of the practice of private medicine. It attempts to terrorize American physicians. These onerous aspects should be removed from the Bill.

May I sincerely urge those who would vote against MSAs to review Article I, Section 10, of the U.S. Constitution; and Amendments V, IX, X, and XIV of the U.S. Constitution.

Nino M. Camardese, MD
Norwalk, OH

Originally published in the Medical Sentinel 1996;1(3):1-2. Copyright ©1996 Association of American Physicians and Surgeons.

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