December 11th, 2008
11:41 AM ET
5 years ago

Daschle is Obama's pick for health care point man

Obama announced the pick of Daschle Thursday.
Obama announced the pick of Daschle Thursday.

CHICAGO, Illinois (CNN) - President-elect Barack Obama picked former Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle for two important roles Thursday - secretary of Health and Human Services and director of the White House Office of Health Reform.

"He will be responsible not just for implementing our health care plan. He will also be the lead architect of that plan," Obama said, calling Daschle "one of America's foremost health care experts."

"If we want to overcome our economic challenges, we must also finally address our health care challenge," Obama said. Appearing at a press conference with Obama, Daschle said it is "so exciting" to take on the dual role not just to implement reform "but helping to generate it."

"We have the most expensive health care system in the world, but are not the healthiest nation in the world," Daschle said.

"Our growing costs are unsustainable, and the plight of the uninsured is unconscionable," he said.
"Addressing our health care challenges will not only mean healthier and longer lives for millions, it will also make American companies more competitive, address the cause of half of all of our personal bankruptcies and foreclosures and help pull our economy out of its current tailspin."

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Filed under: Tom Daschle
soundoff (84 Responses)
  1. Mari

    Another excellent choice by the brilliant Barack Obama!!

    God bless you!

    December 11, 2008 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  2. sam

    At least we won't have to worry about the UAW retirees who will continue to get the best coverage available for them and their families for life, all thanks to the American taxpayers who have to fight for and pay for their own coverage. Isn't this a great country?

    December 11, 2008 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  3. Dorothy Adams

    My comment relates to the media reaction to the two appointments made today by President-Elect Obama. It appeared that something that will affect millions of Americans throughout the United States had to take a back seat to the corruption charges of the Illinois governor. I live in Illinois and, like most of the people in Illinois, I am appalled at the activities of the governor. However, I am almost as appalled by the disrespect given these two appointments as I am by the governor's disregard for the people of Illinois.

    December 11, 2008 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  4. Steve in Las Vegas,NV

    This is change! Putting in people who know what they are doing and are able to make it happen.....Not just a bunch of yes men who listen to themselves and the lobbyists.

    December 11, 2008 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  5. KMF

    Does this mean that when Ex-Sen. Tom Daschle takes office that his wife Former FAA Administrator Linda Daschle will have another top level U.S. Goverment job??

    Will she be coming back to the FAA?

    If she does, will she still use the same OLD picture of when she was in her early 30's on her announcement page.

    I got so tired of looking at that, especially when the would use it on EVERY announcement and she was in her late 50.s!

    December 11, 2008 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
  6. Senate Candidate 13

    Welcome back Tom...

    Change we can believe in.... ROFLMAO

    December 11, 2008 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  7. Tim in VA

    Sigh..... So much for change coming to Washington. Looks more like "Same You Can Believe In"

    December 11, 2008 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  8. Vic

    Tom Daschle is the best choice for this position. I was afraid that Hillary Clinton would end up with the job (her healthcare plan was just wrong).
    So, congrats to Tom Daschle!

    December 11, 2008 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  9. Bobby

    So 20+ years in DC doesn't make you an 'insider'..? Go figure......
    Change? I don't think so. Another borken promise and he hasn't even taken the oath of office yet.

    December 11, 2008 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  10. SoCalGal

    Health care issues are easy to fix: (1) Put all government employees on health care system of the rest of the nation (2) separate health insurance from employment – they're not related and the pairing only creates insurance loss issues during job losses (3) allow plans to sell nationally (4) return to the 'major medical' plans of yester-year which is what insurance was intended to be.

    NOTE: Insurance is NOT a right – it's a benefit that one pays for. Lack of insurance is NOT unconscionable – human abuse IS as. What IS unconsionable is that people who are struggling to pay their own bills are also stuck with the health care bills of illegals who bestow upon us their ills.

    December 11, 2008 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  11. Candia

    As a non-American, I wish the new administration all the best luck in implementing a good health care plan for the citizens. The stories I've been reading over the past couple of months – having to choose between health care and bankruptcy in such a rich, modern, developed nation as the USA – are heart-wrenching.

    December 11, 2008 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  12. Bobby

    So 20+ years in DC doesn't make you an 'insider'..? Go figure......
    Change? I don't think so. Another broken promise and he hasn't even taken the oath of office yet.

    December 11, 2008 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  13. JL

    ...another great pick. I'm glad cnn.com posted this, because ABC news cut off the part of the press conference that covered this and only aired the part that covered that idiot governor. Health care reform is MUCH more important to me and to the survival of our country.

    December 11, 2008 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  14. John B. In NH

    Excellent choice!!

    December 11, 2008 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  15. Brian G, Sugar Land, TX

    Another fine appointment, President elect Obama.

    December 11, 2008 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  16. Impatient

    Hurry up and get in office already!! Gosh, it seems like forever until Obama can become president...I can't wait until Jan!

    December 11, 2008 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  17. Impatient

    Hurry up and get in office already!! Gosh, it seems like forever until Obama can be come president...I can't wait until Jan.!

    December 11, 2008 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  18. Milhouse van Houten

    Oh,I would think those two positions will not only leave Daschle no time to himself,he'll probably be found walking around Washington babbling incoherently to anyone that will listen.Comprehensive health
    care to the degree that is needed is not going to implemented with the wave of a magic wand.

    December 11, 2008 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
  19. Doris,Memphis,TN

    God Bless and protect our wonderful new President!

    December 11, 2008 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  20. Recently Unemployed - No Distractions

    I had to withdraw my 401k because I had to have emergency surgery.
    I literally waited until I had no other option before making the decision.
    Thank you for your appointment. I am encouraged. I am also unemployed and am hopeful. Thank you for no losing focus on the American people. I campaigned for you Mr. Obama and I believe in you and I am praying for you and I am praying for all of the other Americans who may be experiencing what I am. I am still hopeful, although there are days when I am also tearful.

    December 11, 2008 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  21. Virginia

    One more "change" for Washington-a washed up, hateful insider who will just use up tax dollars for nothing!

    December 11, 2008 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  22. Change - Yeah Left

    And by the time the Dems are done, we'll have the worst health care in the world run by the nanny state. The Dems are going to put doctors out of business and ensure that there aren't enough specialists to help out people who need them. All of medicne will become one big welfare pot paid for by more and more of our taxes.

    December 11, 2008 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  23. EMT

    Of course Daschle has to be the lead architect- Obama has no idea what he's doing!

    That said, what exactly makes Daschle "one of America's foremost health care experts"?

    December 11, 2008 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  24. justobserve

    Even though our health care system overhaul is complex and difficult, the understanding that it connects with our economy is the very first step in the right direction. Thanks to the Obama team who made this possible instead of using excuse of our present troubled economy to delay further.

    December 11, 2008 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  25. Change

    It is the "change we can believe," with all the old-timer Washington insiders working for, or advising, Obama? Another Jimmy Carter, all over again?? What do we expect, when a commander-in-chief has no experience, records or goverment-acheivements, of his own, and he has to rely on Bush's Secretary of Defense???

    December 11, 2008 01:57 pm at 1:57 pm |
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