Ailing Kennedy Hopes to Attend Summit
By Ceci Connolly
Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, who is battling potentially lethal brain cancer, plans to make a surprise appearance at today's White House summit on healthcare reform.
Kennedy, 77, the lawmaker most associated with the push to give healthcare coverage to every American, appeared publicly in Washington most recently at last month's stimulus vote. He also attended President Obama's inauguration, but suffered a seizure during the luncheon that followed the ceremony.
If he is feeling strong enough, the ailing Massachusetts Democrat is expected to appear with President Obama at the summit, administration sources said. Kennedy's spokesman confirmed he had returned to Washington.
About 120 people are expected to attend the summit including lawmakers of both parties, industry leaders and "average Americans" who volunteered to host house parties on the issue in December.
One person unlikely to speak is Gov. Kathleen Sebelius (D-Kan.), Obama's current choice to be secretary for health and human services, said domestic policy adviser Melody Barnes. Sebelius, nominated on Monday after Thomas A. Daschle withdrew from consideration amidst a tax controversy, is awaiting confirmation by the Senate.
Yesterday, British Prime Minister Gordon Brown announced that Queen Elizabeth II plans to bestow honorary knighthood on Kennedy, in recognition of his lifetime achievements.
Washington Post Editor
March 5, 2009; 8:54 AM ET
Categories: 44 The Obama Presidency
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