Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Will Diane Black Benefit From ObamaCare?

Posted By on Tue, Jul 31, 2012 at 2:32 PM

A review of Rep. Diane Black's publicly disclosed private investments suggests that the congresswoman, a longtime and vocal critic of President Obama's health care reform bill, will stand to reap the benefits of the very legislation she rails against.

According to data provided by the Center For Responsive Politics, a sizable chunk of Black's assets are in health care companies that would ostensibly benefit from the spending generated by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.

The range of Black's health care investments from that period were $5,017,000 to $25,080,000, out of a total of $16,534,054 to $75,761,000 worth of total investments as of 2010 (the last year such data is available). Among the medical companies Black has invested in — including those that will most likely enjoy a windfall from the ACA — are Baxter International, a manufacturer and marketer of "products that save and sustain the lives of people with hemophilia, immune disorders, infectious diseases, kidney disease, trauma, and other chronic and acute medical conditions," according to its website; Dendreon, a cancer drug manufacturer; and Amylin Pharmaceuticals, a biochemical company specializing in the "potential of new peptide hormone drug candidates and the creation of novel and groundbreaking therapies for the treatment of diabetes, obesity, and other metabolic diseases," to name a few.

With the exception of her husband's toxicology screening firm, Aegis, the aforementioned companies are likely poised to gain from the influx of roughly 30,000,000 new potential patients brought onto insurance rolls by the ACA. For example, Amylin has a page on its website titled "Healthcare Reform: A New Opportunity in Diabetes," that includes descriptions of how some of the money provided by the bill would be spent by the company to further its treatment of diabetes.

Given that there's a hotly contested election just two days away, the campaign of Black's primary opponent, Lou Ann Zelenik, naturally has something to say about it, after the jump.

"With Diane Black all you have to do is follow the money trail — no wonder Diane Black voted six times to fund Obamacare," says Jay Heine, Zelenik's campaign manager. "She has a pattern of votes that enrich herself at the expense of the people she represents." (Although it's quite the stretch to insinuate that votes made to ensure a functioning, funded government are"stunt votes" to fund the President's health care initiative,)

Black's campaign offered the following boilerplate comment in response to this story, ignoring your humble correspondent's question of whether these holdings would translate into personal financial gain due to any aspect of health care reform, and if so, would the good congresswoman forgo any dividends potentially earned as a result of ObamaCare:

"Congressman Black's job is to do what is in the best interest of Tennessee taxpayers and that's why she is fighting every day to repeal ObamaCare," says Jennifer Baker, a Black spokeswoman. "She believes it will be bad for patients, bad for taxpayers, and bad for America. Her votes are only driven by her duty to represent the interests and beliefs of her constituents. She believes that if we don't repeal ObamaCare, it will be a disaster for American health care and that is why she has voted over two dozen times to repeal this horrible law and 26 times to defund it."

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