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The Secretary and the Czar: Obama Bets Big on Daschle

by LindsayBeyerstein, The Media Consortium: Thu., Nov 20, 2008
Filed under: transitionHealth Care NewsletterNewsLadder


It’s official, former Sen. Tom Daschle will be Barack Obama’s Secretary of Health and Human Services. Daschle will also serve as Health Czar, which means he will be in charge of developing Obama’s healthcare program in addition to running HHS.

Ezra Klein writes in the Prospect: “This is huge news, and the clearest evidence yet that Obama means to pursue comprehensive health reform. You don’t tap the former Senate Majority Leader to run your health care bureaucracy. That’s not his skill set. You tap him to get your health care plan through Congress.

Ezra argues that Obama has learned the lessons of Hillary Clinton’s unsuccessful attempt to reform healthcare in 1994. Ezra’s view, the Clinton plan failed because its architects were so focused on crafting the perfect policy that they neglected to figure out how they were going to sell there plan politically.

The hope is that Daschle has the political skills to actually get a healthcare plan passed.

Greg Sargent agrees that the Daschle pick is a sign that Obama intends to act quickly on healthcare.

This post features links to the best independent, progressive reporting about health care. Visit for a complete list of articles on healthcare affordability, healthcare laws, and healthcare controversy. And for the best progressive reporting on the ECONOMY, and IMMIGRATION, check out, and

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