From NBC's Betsy Cline
In a visit to a seniors wellness center in DC today, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said that passing health care without Sen. Ted Kennedy would "make things more difficult."
Sebelius said the nation is "appropriately consumed by the legacy of Teddy Kennedy," following a meet-and-greet with several senior citizens to promote a new report about the impact of health-care reform on Medicare recipients. She went on to say there has been "no better champion for older Americans than Sen. Kennedy."
In response to a question about the possibility of naming the health legislation after Kennedy, Sebelius said it is more important to actually pass it, though she said it would be an appropriate tribute. But she suggested to those interested in honoring his memory, "it would be best to pass health care."
Sebelius said that as a "recovering legislator" herself, Kennedy had the right mix of principles and deal-making to get things done. "He knew making progress was critically important," she said.