Eleanor Clift, in a Newsweek article on Sen. Ted Kennedy’s effort to get a comprehensive health-insurance program through Congress, reminds readers that he once had a chance to help reach that goal but let it slip through his hands in the name of political partisanship:

The plan proposed by President Richard Nixon in 1971 requiring employers to provide health insurance was more progressive than anything on the table today. Kennedy has had three decades to ponder the ideas he rejected then as chairman of the Senate Health committee and leader of his party’s then dominant liberal wing.