November 20th, 2008
03:32 PM ET
2 years ago

Daschle setting healthcare goals

Daschle is looking forward to his job in the Obama administration.
Daschle is looking forward to his job in the Obama administration.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - Former Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle told CNN Thursday that he is excited about the possibility of heading Health and Human Services in an Obama administration where he would be a point person in helping to reform the nation’s healthcare system.

Daschle, a close advisor to President-elect Barack Obama, is expected to be nominated for this Cabinet-level position if he passes the vetting process. His top priority as HHS secretary would be healthcare, one of Obama’s signature policy issues during the campaign.

"I hope to have the plan enacted by next year, and then it will take several years to implement,” said Daschle, as he waited to board a plane in Washington, DC bound for Obama’s hometown of Chicago.

When asked if the U.S., in this current economic climate, could afford to reform the healthcare system, Daschle said it is imperative.

“We can't afford not to do it,” he said. “If we do nothing, we'll be paying twice as much on healthcare in 10 years as we do today."

Daschle served as Democratic leader in the Senate from 1995 until he lost reelection in 2004. Representing South Dakota, Daschle was first elected as a congressman in 1978 and served in the House until he was elected to the Senate in 1986.

Daschle recently authored a book on healthcare titled “Critical: What We Can Do About the Health-Care Crisis.”


Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama • Tom Daschle
soundoff (115 Responses)
  1. Thomas

    Ah yes, change is coming Obama. I see it in all of your appointments. The same old guard. Now that is real change.

    November 20, 2008 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  2. Kevin

    Have you ever noticed that every other country that has universal health care has a stagnant economy, and exorbitant tax rates? I'm all for health insurance for everyone. I'm sure most everyone is, even staunch conservatives. The issue is how it will be paid for. Raising taxes seem like the only way to do it, and that ultimately hurts everyone.

    November 20, 2008 05:35 pm at 5:35 pm |
  3. Pat F

    G.R.I.T. – Girl Raised in the South: I live in Detroit. Everyone in Windsor, Ontario and throughout Essex County, Ontario comes across the border from Canada for decent health care here, with no waiting lists. Heck, half the nurses in Detroit hospitals are Canadian.

    Don't talk about what you don't know anything about.

    November 20, 2008 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
  4. BreAnna - Military Brat

    Kevin –

    I'm sorry, $100 a month?! Maybe 50 years ago. Most of the people that I know who can't afford healthcare either can't afford a HOOPTY, drive a hoopty, or have the cable that has 3 channels and local news. My boyfriend, for example, is an independent college student with a part time job trying to pay for school and other bills by himself. He can't get healthcare through his job, but if you know of plans that are only $100 a month, PLEASE tell me so he can get his pinky (which has been broken for 6 months, and they want to charge 400 just to set it) checked out. ^_^

    November 20, 2008 05:39 pm at 5:39 pm |
  5. Pua, HI

    Something needs to be done in regards to our healthcare system that is for sure. It will take great minds and time to improve what we have right now. I would think looking at all the countries that provide universal health care, like Canada, France and Germany should give clues on what to do.

    November 20, 2008 05:41 pm at 5:41 pm |
  6. Pat F

    Dear Veteran in Kansas:

    We have national health care systems for the most vulnerable Americans. They are called Medicare, Medicaid, SCHIP and the VA.

    Have a really special day. Sarcasm and anger are poison, you know.

    November 20, 2008 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |
  7. GOP Lost

    Well as I sit here with a 100k 401 K that is now worth 59K in the past 2 months, I sure hope that we begin to take care of the American economy, seems that they can't even give the 700 Billion Bail out away correctly. Tough to believe in Congress and the Senate getting it right,

    November 20, 2008 05:51 pm at 5:51 pm |
  8. Pua, HI

    Just adding to the discussion... As a small business owner (no employees) I am paying for my own health insurance (~350/mo) and I am just happy to have it, although it is not easy to make the payments. I am originally from Germany and all my family lives over there. It has been interesting for me to see how well they are cared for when needed and not having to pay much extra if anything at all. My brother, sister, brother-in-law, dad and mom (at the moment for the 3rd time in hospital this year) all needed major care this or the past year. I have been worried about them but the healthcare system works fine there. They are not financially affected with copayments etc. as I see it here.

    November 20, 2008 06:14 pm at 6:14 pm |
  9. Tony

    Am I going to get free plastic surgery when they implement this new health care for everyone?

    November 20, 2008 06:15 pm at 6:15 pm |
  10. Indigo

    Anything the govt gets its hands on is a failure. Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae, govt. failure that we , the US taxpayer are paying for.
    It's OUR money , not theirs. A free market economy is what works, socialsim doesn't

    United States of America
    1776 – 2008
    R. I. P.

    November 20, 2008 06:17 pm at 6:17 pm |
  11. gone gulchin'

    Are you "universal health care" people self-deluded or just stupid?

    Our entitlement system is already deep deep in the red and we're printing money like it's going out of style to bailout the Dems' last socioeconomic engineering schemes (CRA, Fannie, Freddie).

    The Democrats have already ruined the medical, energy, automotive, and financial industries with their insane restrictions, regulations and mandates.

    WTH would anyone want to out those economic illiterates in charge of something so personal and private as their health care?

    You can leave me out of your mandatory socialist health care schemes, thank you very much. I am quite happy with the insurance plan and doctors I have now.

    Question: Why is it the only choice Democrats want to allow us plebs is the choice to abort?

    November 20, 2008 06:32 pm at 6:32 pm |
  12. Pete

    The master of faux outrage leading the healthcare initiatives of Obama? Please!

    I still remember when Daschele gave some convuluted speeach on the senate floor (I believe he was railing against something Bush did) and he went on and on about how mad and outraged he was about what Bush did. The funny part was he did it all in a whisper.

    Change? Change? We'll all be asking for Change on the street corners in a year.

    November 20, 2008 06:33 pm at 6:33 pm |
  13. Cynthia - Arkansas

    I have always been a supporter of Tom Daschle. He seems like a very sincere and intelligent man. I would love to see him work out a health plan for all of us. We already have programs that possibly could be expanded on. My health insurance is one of my most costly expenses. Any help would be welcome!

    November 20, 2008 06:36 pm at 6:36 pm |
  14. Tim

    We need universal health care and we need it NOW! I'm retired Military and a healthcare provider. I have health insurance from my present employer and Tricare (military health insurance). When I retired and finally faced what medical insurance was all about I was shocked at my ignorance. I worked a couple of years in an Emergency Room and saw long lines and extended wait times for routine medical needs competing for care with true medical emergencies. This, because the ER would see them free (if unable to pay) and that these patients had no physician (because no medical insurance, although they were employed). We ALL pay for this with our taxes in the long run, either for the ER visit or hospitalization of chronic medically manageble illnesses. We must think of the long term cost rather than short losses in taxes. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

    November 20, 2008 06:43 pm at 6:43 pm |
  15. Dave

    Kevin said: "Have you ever noticed that every other country that has universal health care has a stagnant economy, and exorbitant tax rates?"

    Have you ever noticed how conservatives often spout non-facts and statistics as if they were gospel? Canada has a stagnant economy?? Since when? Currently we're faring better in this economic downturn than you. The UK has a "stagnant" economy? Granted, pretty much everyone does right now, perhaps, but the US is no exception. It obviously has nothing to do with universal healthcare, which just makes sense from a humane perspective.

    November 20, 2008 06:46 pm at 6:46 pm |
  16. donna

    To Pat F
    The Canadian nurses may work in Detroit, but they come home to Canada after their shift. I live in the area (Essex-Kent ) that you talk about, and I do not know where you get your info from, but I do not know any people that cross the border to get treatment in your hospitals, and I know a lot of people!! If they do, it is a small percentage. We have to pay for out of the country insurance to do that. If you took a poll, the over whelming number of Canadians would say out system works!!

    November 20, 2008 06:48 pm at 6:48 pm |
  17. Indigo

    cynthia , have the two of you been out togethere? Have a long meaningful conversation? What do you actually know about him. His own constituancy didn't re-elect him. They knew more about him than you think you know. His ego has finaaly found a home with the 0bama administration.

    November 20, 2008 06:50 pm at 6:50 pm |
  18. Lisa

    Of course all the greedy republicans do not want universal health care. I can't understand why republicans are so shelfish.

    November 20, 2008 06:58 pm at 6:58 pm |
  19. Indigo

    The govt. isnt the solution to your "problems" YOU are. The govt IS the problem, and what you can do about it is vote . Vote out jerks like Barney Frank and Chris Dodd ( the two hogs responsible for the freddi/fannie fiasco). Vote out Murtha who called his own constituants racist and than ammended it to " rednecks" , nice guy. He has contempt for you, the people. Have term limits for both the congress and the senate.

    November 20, 2008 06:59 pm at 6:59 pm |
  20. Simmy

    Sen. Clinton would prefer Daschle's job I think. Also, either Gov. K. Sebelius or Dr. Tyson would be an excellent choice for Commerce Sec! Go well in those selections; keep it up!!!

    From a loyal supporter, and not a fair weather friend!

    November 20, 2008 07:00 pm at 7:00 pm |
  21. FreeNLovIt

    You know, I like Universal Healthcare, but we may not have enough doctors. I believe that for your common illnesses, we should use Walmart and Walgreens' services. They have clinics that treat your regular cold/sflus/acnes and other ailments. I think this will free up the real doctors for more important illnesses and will reduce traffic jam at the doctors' offices. Think about it!! Be smart and work smarter not harder. I pray that America has enough brain to work this Health crisi out.

    November 20, 2008 07:03 pm at 7:03 pm |
  22. CMG

    As a fellow South Dakotan and a nurse, I am tremendously pleased with Tom Daschles selection for Health Care reform...

    November 20, 2008 07:04 pm at 7:04 pm |
  23. FreeNLovIt

    On top of that, if you are 80 to 90 years old, you shouldnt be treated for a new heart or be treated for expensive cares. It doesnt make sense. If you love America, you should think about helping lower cost down, by asking yourself if you really need the treatment.

    November 20, 2008 07:05 pm at 7:05 pm |
  24. Indigo

    0bama,the incoming captain of the USA , now re-named the ss Titanic. The stock market as so much confidence in this guy that it's dropped a couple of thousand points since he was elected. ( Soros bought the elction for 0bama aided and abetted by the press). Son enough buyers remorse will set in. The people that actually voted for 0bama are nothing more than lobotomized lemmings.

    November 20, 2008 07:17 pm at 7:17 pm |
  25. Indigo

    cmg, you must be a liberal, if you had any brains you would be a republican.

    November 20, 2008 07:18 pm at 7:18 pm |
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