In a very brief emotional speech that focused on the theme of hope, dreams and change, Kennedy mentioned only one specific legislative battle: universal healthcare. Here's what he said:
"For me this is a season of hope, new hope for a justice and fair prosperity for the many, and not just for the few--new hope.
And this is the cause of my life: new hope that we will break the old gridlock and guarantee that every American, north, south, east, west, young, old , will have decent, quality health care as a fundamental right and not a privilege."
Kennedy is reportedly working with ranking Senate Health Committee Republican Michael Enzi (Wyo.) on a universal healthcare proposal ready to be introduced early next year, just after the inauguration. If Sen. Barack Obama wins in November, it could be Kennedy, not Hillary Clinton, leading the healthcare reform charge.