Obama Nominates Daschle for Health and Human Services Post

December 12, 2008 (PLANSPONSOR.com) - With an eye toward health care reform, President-elect Barack Obama on Thursday announced his nomination of Senator Tom Daschle (D-South Dakota) for Secretary of Health and Human Services.

According to the Los Angeles Times, Obama said the economic downturn makes major changes [to the health care system] more imperative, not less. He also announced plans to also nominate Daschle to lead a new White House Office of Health Reform.

In a book about health care reform that Obama called “groundbreaking,” that was written by Daschle along with Jeanne M. Lambrew, who worked on health care in the Clinton White House and whom Obama announced would be Daschle’s deputy at the White House health office, Daschle endorsed a mandate for all Americans to get insurance. He also has called for a public insurance program that would compete with private insurers, similar to a proposal by Obama (See Cover: Political Partings ), and a new government agency to set standards of care, the L.A. Times noted.

“It signals that the incoming administration intends to prioritize comprehensive healthcare reform,” said Karen Ignagni, president of America’s Health Insurance Plans, about Obama’s nomination, according to the news report.