According to CNN:
President-elect Barack Obama has chosen former Sen. Tom Daschle to be Secretary of Health and Human Services, and the former Senate majority leader has indicated he wants the job, three sources close to the transition told CNN Wednesday.
The sources said that Daschle negotiated that he will also serve as the White House health “czar,” or point person, so that he will report directly to the incoming president.
By wearing two hats, Daschle — not White House staffers — will be writing the health care plan that Obama submits to Congress next year.
According to sources, Tom Daschle has become a health policy wonk through his work at Center for American Progress. Tom Daschle has a health policy book out called “Critical: What We Can Do About the Health-Care Crisis” that has been endorsed by Barack Obama, who says:
“The American health-care system is in crisis, and workable solutions have been blocked for years by deeply entrenched ideological divisions. Sen. Daschle brings fresh thinking to this problem, and his Federal Reserve for Health concept holds great promise for bridging this intellectual chasm and, at long last, giving this nation the health care it deserves.”
in which he proposes a Federal Health Board.
Daschle’s solution to the health care crisis is a Federal Health Board. Read more about Senator Daschle’s explanation about a Federal Health Board, after the jump.
Ezra Klein: So, to begin, the Federal Health Board. Why is it needed and what does it do?
Tom Daschle: I ask audiences frequently, what would have happened if the Congress had been the ones responsible for trying to figure out what to do with the Bear-Stearns crisis, the sub-prime crisis? Or what would happen if Congress were asked to raise or lower interest rates once a month? That’s why we have a Federal Reserve. We need an insulated, accountable and credible decision-making board to take that responsibility.
The Federal Health Board would have some of the same roles as the Federal Reserve board, in that it would create a management infrastructure to integrate our public and private health-care systems. About 45 percent of the people in our country get their health-care from public sources, 55 percent from private sources, but there’s no integration, either among the public programs or between the public and private sectors. Somebody has to do that. We need a board — just as we have needed commissions in the past for base closing or Social Security — to focus and to create the kind of decision-making process that allows us to make the tough decisions. That’s why we have these commissions, and that’s why we need the Federal Health Board. It also has a secondary purpose, which is that as we pass the legislation, it precludes the need for Congress to get too far into the weeds and be getting so mired in the minutia of details that would never really get to the larger questions. It allows us to stay out of the details. We delegate that detail to the board.