Conservative group suspends anti-healthcare reform ads upon Kennedy's passing

Conservatives for Patients' Rights (CPR), a group that has aired ads against the current healthcare reform proposals, announced on Wednesday that it would suspend its campaign in the wake of Sen. Ted Kennedy's (D-Mass.) death.

CPR's decision demonstrates the respect Kennedy, a long standing proponent of health reform, garners in the debate over the legislation now being considered by Congress.

Here is CPR's statement:
With the sad news of Senator Kennedy's passing Conservatives for Patients Rights is immediately suspending our ad campaign for health care reform out of respect to the Kennedy family as well as the Senator's colleagues and supporters, to whom we extend our condolences. We know the debate will continue - a debate Senator Kennedy embraced with vigor - and we look forward to engaging in the debate in the months ahead. But now is a time for respect, reflection and remembrance. Senator Kennedy's lifetime of dedicated public service transcended multiple generations. His devotion to many issues and his relentless passion made him a hero to his supporters and worthy adversary to his opponents. His voice and presence will be missed.

Lawmakers and advocacy groups have already recognized the significant impact of Kennedy's death on healthcare reform. Sen. Chris Dodd (D-Conn.), who took over Kennedy's spot on the Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee, said "he fought to the very end for the cause of his life -- ensuring that all Americans have the health care they need."

Service Employees International Union President Andy Stern said "let us continue his cause. Let us take action this year to pass healthcare reform. And let us continue to build Kennedy's vision of America."