HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius issued the following statement today:
“I join Americans across the country in mourning the death of Senator Edward M. Kennedy and extending my deepest condolences to the Kennedy family. The Kennedys are a part of my family’s political history. I vividly remember my parents’ joyous celebration when President Kennedy was elected in 1960. I was proud to serve as one of Senator Kennedy’s Kansas campaign co-chairs in 1980 and it was a tremendous honor to work with him throughout the course of my career.
“Senator Kennedy spent his career fighting to improve the health of the American people and extend services to those in need. His work touches all of us and almost every corner of the Department of Health and Human Services. Today, because of his work, senior citizens who would otherwise go hungry will receive meals. Millions of children across the country will have access to medical care and Head Start. And our nation is a fairer and more just place because of his tireless efforts to promote civil rights and end discrimination.
“Ensuring that all Americans have access to quality, affordable health care was one of the causes of Senator Kennedy’s life and we will carry his mission forward. We will honor his incredible legacy of advocacy and accomplishment through our work. Senator Kennedy never let us forget our most important charge as public servants: representing the American people and giving voice to those who have been ignored or forgotten. We will always remember that lesson and his incredible service to our nation.”