(From Guardian Unlimited)
The death of Ted Kennedy is not just a personal loss but deprives President Barack Obama of a crucial political ally as he seeks to overhaul US healthcare.
Kennedy came through for Obama during the presidential campaign, when he decided to support the inspirational Illinois senator rather than Hillary Clinton, a hardened political warrior. On healthcare, both Obama and Kennedy believed deeply in the need to change a system that leaves up to 46 million Americans without health insurance .
The White House was leaning on the ability of Kennedy, who chaired the Senate panel on health, to work with Republicans to push through the …