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

Daschle setting healthcare goals

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="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. Indigo

    This so called crisis , is just another excuse for the govt to take over a huge part of private sector business.

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

    Germany has a double digit un-eployment rate. Germany is trying to do away with their state run health care, its near bankruptcy.

    November 20, 2008 07:22 pm at 7:22 pm |
  3. Helen, VT

    This guy a is a liberal and he will join with Ted Kennedy to have Universal health care. Americans will have to wait for a long period of time each time for medical treatment.

    November 20, 2008 07:40 pm at 7:40 pm |
  4. Steve


    November 20, 2008 07:44 pm at 7:44 pm |
  5. Joi

    I lived in South Dakota until recently. I voted for and have met Tom Daschle. He is smart. He is articulate. I think he would be the right man for the job.

    November 20, 2008 07:46 pm at 7:46 pm |
  6. John Robinson

    I have terminal cancer , it seens like the world have bottomed out, for people like me. The problem we have are we are Americans. There is no help for us when our health falls to this degree. But if we are refugees from another nation we can get all the help we need to live as normal people for the little time we have to live from this cancer. Will some one please help with this issue. HEALTH CARE PLEASE !

    November 20, 2008 07:58 pm at 7:58 pm |
  7. Jen, Cali

    Daschle?????? OMG, NOT Daschle the jellyfish !!!!!!!!!! There goes quality healthcare. Here comes Daschle (or anyone's) universal healthcare - where folks over 65 won't get any meaningful services at all - where folks of any age with a REALLY serious illness like heart disease, cancer, or kidney disease have to wait nearly a year for diagnostics and treatment (just check out Canada and the U.K.) - and won't you all be just SO pleased. I hope you're all under 30 and healthy !!!!!!!!!!! If you're not - BOY, are you in for a rude awakening !!!!!!!!!!!!!

    November 20, 2008 08:05 pm at 8:05 pm |
  8. Victor of MN

    I'm going to grab some popcorn and watch our healthcare system collapse as waves of docs retire early.

    You thinking a 5+hr wait at the ER is long now....

    November 20, 2008 08:06 pm at 8:06 pm |
  9. hometowndemocrat

    I read these posts and it confirms to me that people just keep dumbing down......and I'm not talking about the democrats!

    November 20, 2008 08:06 pm at 8:06 pm |
  10. A Proud Canadian

    I totally agree with the rest of my fellow Canadians who have supported our health care system and am astonished with the uniformed opinions written here by people who really know nothing about our system..

    We have a population of about 38 million people, which is over 5 miliion LESS than the number of people in America who have NO health care. No one will go bankrupt from a catastrophic medical problem and no one will be denied health care costs due to a socalled preexisting disease. Doctors do not have to apply to a paper pusher for permission for treatment.

    Like any system, it is not perfect but there is an inherent pride in a country that looks after its own. When I compare my health care costs (aout $100.00 for medical, extended health and dental) and my taxes with friends and relatives in the US with their medical costs and taxes, I am way ahead financially.

    November 20, 2008 08:10 pm at 8:10 pm |
  11. hometowndemocrat need to stop listening to your recorded Palin stump speeches........she was an idiot too...........

    November 20, 2008 08:16 pm at 8:16 pm |
  12. Desert Strom Vet

    What exactly does it mean to "Change Washington"? Same people? Same policies? Same Lobbyists? Was it "Hope and Change" or hope they change?

    November 20, 2008 08:22 pm at 8:22 pm |
  13. Jen, Cali

    John November 20th, 2008 4:18 pm ET
    Regardless of your afiliations if we don't get the ridiculous costs of helth care under control we are doomed. Neither Gov't or Private can deal with that.
    Step 1 Reform the Tort system. No more huge frivolous malpractice suits

    You are so right, John! The only thing wrong with our healthcare system is –as it is EVERYTHING in our country - is that people want to sue, sue, sue to reap some "windfall " profit. If you have hangnail and your doctor doesn't order an expensive MRI for you, you sue!

    As always, it's the "entitlement" mentality that brings us down - and will continue to bring us down with Obama.

    Want a ham and cheese sandwich? Ask the government to provide it and you get a $3000 meal. Ask private industry - and you get a ham and cheese for $2.99 - with fries and a coke thrown in.

    But I guess people don't mind the $3000 - as long as it's "liberal." Good luck, suckers !!!!!!!!!!!

    November 20, 2008 08:24 pm at 8:24 pm |
  14. Anna, Missouri

    I have been a nurse since 1975 and have seen many changes, not all of them good. Most hospitals are "not for profit" meaning they can't show a profit on their books so they have to spend the money they get. In the past few years, they have seen an increase in costs due to so many people without insurance that use their emergency rooms, but these same hospitals continue to build or remodel because they have to spend the money. I worked in one hospital for 11 years, and the first 6 years the OB and womens health floor was under constant remodeling. Their C-section surgical rooms had tiles on the wall that had 22 ct. gold in them. One of the doctors was unhappy with the layout, so as soon as it was done, they remodeled it again, including tearing out the gold trimed tile and putting up new gold trimmed tile. Obviously, the nurses thought that just maybe, that money could have been used to hire more nurses or give raises, but no, that money came from the "building fund" and couldn't be used for anything else.

    November 20, 2008 08:40 pm at 8:40 pm |
  15. jim

    what are all the bushelover mc cain lovers when it goes through and it will and you will all look like jerks but you already do yyes obama yes

    November 20, 2008 09:16 pm at 9:16 pm |
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