WASHINGTON (CNN) – Administration officials say President Obama is expected to name Nancy Ann Min DeParle as his new director of the White House office on health reform this afternoon. The announcement is expected to come at the same East Room event where the president will name Kansas Gov. Kathleen Sebelius as Secretary of Health and Human Services.
DeParle's position, also referred to as White House health care czar, was initially to be filled by Obama's first HHS pick, former Senator Tom Daschle. DeParle would work with Sebelius as the President's point person to coordinate the administration's outreach to Congress regarding health care reform. It is not a cabinet position, but considered a key post.
Daschle was to hold both positions as someone who had health care expertise, and a former Senate Majority Leader with the Washington know-how to maneuver Obama's ambitious health care agenda through Congress, before tax problems derailed his nomination and he withdrew.
DeParle is a managing director at CCMO Capital, a private-equity firm. She is a member of the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (medPAC), a group that advises Congress on Medicare payment and policy issues. She previously served a top health official in the Clinton administration.
Obama administration officials say the health care czar position will be similar to the role Hillary Clinton played when, as First Lady, she attempted to overhaul the nation’s health care system.