If a health-care overhaul clears the U.S. Senate this year, the key vote may be a former drug industry lobbyist who has helped raise millions of dollars from drug companies and insurers.
Paul Kirk, chosen by Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick to fill the seat of the late Sen. Ted Kennedy until a special election in January, will be the 60th Democratic senator, and he looks like a reliable vote for President Barack Obama's push to overhaul the health-care sector.
Kirk could deliver the 60th vote on health care--crucial to break a potential Republican filibuster--which would be fitting for a "reform" effort that will enrich the drug industry and could provide a boon for private insurers.
Friday, September 25, 2009
Paul Kirk, senator from Pharma
Ted Kennedy's replacement was chosen this week, and in my column, I argue he is a fitting man to carry ObamaCare to passage: