Obama Taps Daschle To Head HHS, New Office for Health Care Reform
President-elect Barack Obama on Thursday during a press conference in Chicago officially nominated former Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle (D-S.D.) as the next HHS secretary, Reuters reports.
Daschle also will serve as director of a new White House Office of Health Reform (Reuters, 12/11).
Daschle said, "We're going to bring the American people into this conversation and make health care reform an open and inclusive process that goes from the grassroots up" (Rubenstein , "Health Blog," Wall Street Journal, 12/11). He added that he seeks to "make health care in this country as affordable and available as it is innovative" (Wayne/Armstrong, CQ Today, 12/11).
Daschle has proposed to establish a Federal Health Board modeled after the Federal Reserve to determine the medications, medical devices and other treatments that federal health care programs should cover.
Under his proposal, the president would nominate members of the board, and the nominations would require confirmation by the Senate (Pear, New York Times, 12/12).
Daschle said that "addressing our health care challenges" can help reduce personal debt, improve U.S. competitiveness and "pull our economy out of its current tailspin" (Connolly, Washington Post, 12/12).
During the press conference, Obama said of Daschle, "He will be responsible not just for implementing our health care plan; he will also be the lead architect of that plan" (Koffler, Roll Call, 12/11).
Karen Ignagni, president of America's Health Insurance Plans, said that the nomination of Daschle as HHS secretary "signals that the incoming administration intends to prioritize comprehensive health care reform" (Levey, Long Island Newsday, 12/12).
Kaiser Family Foundation President and CEO Drew Altman said, "The news is that health care is still on the agenda, and nobody really expected it to be," adding, "It has been redefined really from a health care issue (alone) to a piece of the larger economic issue" (Marks, Christian Science Monitor, 12/12).
Jeanne Lambrew, a senior fellow at the Center for American Progress who wrote a book with Daschle about health care reform, will serve as deputy director of the office. Previously, Lambrew worked on health policy in the Clinton administration (Rubenstein , "Health Blog," Wall Street Journal, 12/11).
According to the AP/Detroit News, Lambrew, "one of Daschle's most trusted advisers," will "oversee planning efforts" (Freking, AP/Detroit News, 12/11).
- ABC's "World News Tonight" on Thursday reported on the Daschle nomination (Stark et al., "World News Tonight," ABC, 12/11).
- C-SPAN on Thursday broadcast a speech by Daschle about health care (C-SPAN, 12/11).
- KPCC's "Patt Morrison" also reported on Daschle's nomination (Morrison, "Patt Morrison," KPCC, 12/11).
- Fox News' "Special Report with Brit Hume" on Thursday reported on the Daschle nomination (Hume, "Special Report with Brit Hume," Fox News, 12/11).
- NBC's "Nightly News" on Thursday reported on the Daschle nomination (Harwood, "Nightly News," NBC, 12/11).
- NPR's "Day to Day" on Thursday reported on the Obama press conference (Brand/Gonyea, "Day to Day," NPR, 12/11).
- PBS' "NewsHour with Jim Lehrer" on Thursday reported on the Daschle nomination (Bowser, "NewsHour with Jim Lehrer," PBS, 12/11).