November 20th, 2008
03:32 PM ET
9 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. LyonsPhilly

    Hit the ground running....Let's do it....I see change already.....

    November 20, 2008 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  2. Dookie

    The goal of universal health care is certainly admirable, but it can't be done at the expense of quality healthcare. There is a reason that people from Canada, England, France, Germany, etc. all have to come to America to get operations. Interesting to see if this turns out like the Clinton debacle in 93.

    November 20, 2008 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  3. Jeff in Illinois

    Reining in healtcare and energy costs will be key to the nation's economic, and thus, total, survival in the coming years. Healthcare costs are projected to skyrocket far more rapidly than doubling in 10 years. In fact, it is estimated that by 2020, healtcare will, at its current rates of increase, account for more than 100% of our GDP.

    Getting costs under control is far more important than insuring the un-insured. For now, everyone can still get healtcare, either by paying for care, paying for insurance, or having the government pay. In 10-20 years, very few will be able to obtain healtcare, as the system collapses in under its own weight.

    November 20, 2008 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
  4. Adam in VA

    I love that Obama is working hard to pick the right people. Experienced people who share his vision and can get things done while he is in office. For the first time in 8 years, I trust the president.

    November 20, 2008 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  5. carol

    Good on you Tom, we need this health care plan sorted out as soon as's been a nightmare for years and about time some help was forth coming for all Americans and not just the favoured few.
    I think we are in for a great new vision for America when President Obama is in charge.....will things happen overnight, of course not...but it's nice to look to the future with more hope at least.
    Roll on Jan 20th!!!!!

    November 20, 2008 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  6. Annie, Atlanta

    I hope Tom Daschle is successful. It's a shame we live in the richest country in the world yeet 1 catastrophic illness is all it takes to sink most of us. This should not be.

    November 20, 2008 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  7. Angie

    well lets do this!! Change is a Beautiful thing!!!!!

    November 20, 2008 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  8. mitch

    daschle's a good choice. i can do without the holder,hillary picks, and keeping gates. i'd like an AG who would investigate the bush administration. holder wont. richardson would be a better sec. of state. and wesley clark should be chosen as sec. of defense.(he never supported the iraq invasion,just like barack)

    November 20, 2008 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  9. Richard Rohde

    He wakes up every morning saying how are we gonna fool them today.

    November 20, 2008 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  10. chuckles199

    he' a lobbyist, his wife is a lobbyist, his kids are lobbyists.

    obama do you 'get it'?

    November 20, 2008 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  11. ch

    zzzzzzzzzzzzz – nobody care about any of these appointments other than Hillary as SOS.

    November 20, 2008 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  12. Henry Miller, Cary, NC

    Hang onto your wallets people–the government health bureaucrats are about to come raiding.

    It's just too bad all you whiners and losers who want everyone else to pay your medical bills haven't got a shred of self-respect or integrity and run screaming away from anything remotely like taking responsibility for yourselves.

    A nation of cry-babies...

    November 20, 2008 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  13. Leah from FL

    YES, FINALLY!!! it's truly a new day in Washington! Let's get the best national healthcare plan in place and lead the way with a superior plan over the other nations who have national healthcare. It's a national shame that we are so far behind other countries on this topic. My son, who served 4 years in the military of the US, can not afford to buy coverage- he had a tragic accident at age 29 and ruined his financial status and life. It's a national shame that must end. HEALTHCARE IS A RIGHT – not a priviledge for only those who can afford it – as it is now. National Healthcare NOW!! National Healthcare NOW!! Please Congress, do this which is so meaningful to the average US citizen.

    November 20, 2008 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  14. Jessica Grimes

    There are still many questions that have to be addressed to be a truly feasible plan.

    One big issue is the tremendous lack of primary care doctors entering the field... couple that with the number of doctors that desire and/or plan to leave the field in 3-5 years and the huge nursing shortage that is already a reality and well... its gonna take a lot more than campaign rhetoric to make sustainable universal health care a reality.

    I personally don't think it can or should be done. There are definite downsides to universal health care that people seem to be ignoring.

    November 20, 2008 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  15. I'm Not Missing The Old Mule & Winky Half-baked Alaska

    Interesting how Obama's transition team has more plans in place to solve problems than the Bush adminstration did in eight years in office. Mind boggling if you really think about it.

    November 20, 2008 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  16. Sarah

    Daschle is completely correct. Our broken health care system is hurting our economy. We need to implement some form of universal coverage system as soon as possible, in part so that businesses are no longer breaking under the costs of providing coverage and doctors are no longer drowning under paperwork.

    Our system can only get better.

    November 20, 2008 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  17. jerome

    Great selectionI wish him luck and prayers. Hope he succeds in helping us.

    November 20, 2008 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  18. Veteran in Kansas

    To Dookie

    Your name is fitting. The good old USofA is the only industrialize nation in the world without a national health care plan. That is one of the major reasons that our goods are not competative on the world market. As for individuals coming to the US for health care, they may come for certain specialist, but don't be fooled, it you or I needed to see these specialist, we could not afford to, in the mean time our ranking as to quality health care continues to drop and the number of uninsured continues to grow.. I am quite sure that you also advocate taking moneies going into Social Security and investing it in the stock market because you can do better in the market. Have a nice day.

    November 20, 2008 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  19. Bill Dingle

    He can see the need for health care from his front porch. That makes Obama's buddy qualified.

    November 20, 2008 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  20. Latina-Indepedent-4-OBAMA

    There are a lot of MYTHS out there about National healthcare! The FACT is that our system is severely dysfunctional. So our healthcare costs are the most expensive in the world!

    Here is a quote from a New York Times article "The Wrong Place to be Chronically Ill"

    "Chronically ill Americans suffer far worse care than their counterparts in seven other industrial nations, according to a new study by the Commonwealth Fund, a New York-based foundation that has pioneered in international comparisons. It is the latest telling evidence that the dysfunctional American healthcare system badly needs reform."

    It is much more costly to take care of the chronically ill, than it is to offer everyone healthcare so that throughout their lives they have PREVENTIVE medical help! What's happening in our nation is, that a vast majority of people can not afford to go see a physician, thus they eventually do become ill.

    The number ONE reason for bankruptcy in our Nation is healthcare costs!

    November 20, 2008 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  21. The Grammar Czar

    "zzzzzzzzzzzzz – nobody care[s] about any of these appointments other than Hillary as SOS."

    This is *not* a good thing...

    November 20, 2008 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  22. Brian - Trinidad

    Obama's cabinet is being filled by the same people, that he so eloquently pointed out during his campaign, who were responsible for the deterioration of every aspect of our life during the past 8 years.Unless they have all had an evangelical healing since he got elected,how in the heck are these people going to turn our country around?Where is all the new and changed wisdom that he promised going to come from?

    November 20, 2008 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  23. Grace

    It is absolute nonsense that Brits go to the US for operations. We get free healthcare.

    I have had three children without it costing me a penny. My son was rushed to hospital with Meningitis in an ambulance kept in for days and it did not cost a penny!

    Hardly anyone pays for health care in the UK especially Scotland. I do not know anyone that does. If we wanted to pay there are some private hospitals which we could use but we don't because the NHS is great.

    So don't pretend the US has a good system because the US system is a disgrace.

    November 20, 2008 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  24. JDC

    After all the "bailouts" by congress, better not get sick; there ain't gonna be no money left to help anybody.

    November 20, 2008 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  25. hugh ~ california

    The republicans are already meeting together in secret, to stamp out this socialist agenda which will destroy the fabric of democracy! Sound familiar? I hope it's not true, but when has the stubborn right-wing either given in to change.

    November 20, 2008 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
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