President Elect Barack Obama formally announced former Senator Tom Daschle as his pick for Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) on Thursday. Daschle is also expected to serve as the Director of the White House Office of Health Reform.
“Year after year, our leaders offer up detailed healthcare plans with great fanfare and promise, only to see them fail, derailed by Washington politics and influence peddling,” said Obama. “This simply cannot continue. The runaway cost of healthcare is punishing families and businesses across our country. We are on an unsustainable course, and it has to change.” (The Hill, Daschle tapped to oversee healthcare reform)
Daschle served as Democratic leader in the Senate from 1995 until he lost a re-election bid in 2004. Recently he wrote a book titled, “Critical: What We Can Do About the Health Care Crisis.” In the book, he pushed for universal health care coverage to reach by expanding the federal employee health benefits program to include private employer plans together with Medicaid and Medicare.
“It is a great honor to be nominated to work on an issue that is so close to my heart, leading an organization that touches so many lives at a time that there is so much at stake,” said Daschle. (The Hill, Daschle tapped to oversee healthcare reform)
He also said he looks forward to working “with the people from across the country to find a path forward that makes healthcare in this country as affordable and available as it is innovative.”