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To the editor: On a rainy night in 1974, I was at a reception at Mathilde Krim’s New York City townhouse for Ted Kennedy. It was raining so hard on the Northeast coast that Kennedy was three hours late. When he arrived, he bounded up the staircase and introduced himself to my wife, Kathleen, and proceeded to apologize for the delay. The meeting was to propose a documentary film about healthcare in America and what we should be doing about it.
Arthur Krim was a major player in Hollywood and his wife Mathilda Krim, M.D., was a leader in HIV/AIDS research. Some of the other notables in attendance were E.G. Marshall, Maureen Stapleton, Harry Belafonte and Gershon Reichnman, a board member of the French-Polyclinic Hospital and post-graduate medical school (600 beds) where I was executive vice president and chief operating officer. I was along as a technical advisor for the film.
Sen. Kennedy spoke eloquently about the failures of our healthcare system and all the Americans who were left out due to lack of insurance and he never wavered from that position during the last 35 years. The film was never made, but everyone there supported his position and pledged their money and assistance. As a retired healthcare worker, I maintain that if we were offered the health insurance coverage that Ted Kennedy enjoyed, we might be in a better place today.