Sen. Robert Byrd, D-W.V., issued the following statement at the passing of Ted Kennedy: “In his honor and as a tribute to his commitment to his ideals, let us stop the shouting and name calling and have a civilized debate on health care reform which I hope, when legislation has been signed into law, will bear his name for his commitment to insuring the health of every American.” This is shameless political pandering. The health bill should pass or fail on its merits, not be tied to one man’s legacy. The health bill’s plunging approval numbers show Americans are not behind a bill that increases and expands government intrusion into our private lives. History has shown that government takeover of the private sector has disastrous results. Mark my words: Despite the majority of Americans opposing the health care bill, our representatives in Washington, Sens. Baucus and Tester included, will shove it down our throats at Obama’s bidding.