As reported earlier, former Senator Tom Daschle was picked by President Elect Barack Obama to head up the Department of Health and Human Services. As recently announced, Senator Daschle will also would also be the director of the newly-created “White House Office of Health Reform.” Mr. Daschle, in Obama’s words, will be the “lead architect” of proposals to expand coverage and rein in health costs.
Jeanne M. Lambrew, a former aide to President Bill Clinton and a former colleague of Daschle’s from the Center for American Progress, will be deputy director of the new office. Lambrew collaboratedwith Daschle on his book Critical: What We Can Do About the Health-Care Crisis.
Obama’s choice of two authors of Critical, a book that he endorsed, suggests a blueprint for health reform as envisioned by Obama. Daschle and Lambrew advocate for the creation of a Federal Health Board, an independent entity like the Federal Reserve, that would make coverage decisions for federal health programs–in other words, permit trained and knowledgable experts to make the technical decisions rather than having Congress fight each battle.