February 4th, 2009
10:14 AM ET
14 years ago

With Daschle out, what's next for Obama's health agenda?

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/POLITICS/02/04/obama.health.policy/art.daschle.gi.jpg caption="Former Sen. Tom Daschle's withdrawal may be a setback for the Obama administration's heath care agenda."]

WASHINGTON (CNN) - Former Sen. Tom Daschle's decision to withdraw his nomination to head the Department of Health and Human Services has observers buzzing about what the loss means to President Obama's health care agenda.

Daschle had been fighting to save his nomination after facing controversy regarding his tax records - filing amended tax returns and paying more than $140,000 in back taxes and interest - and questions over his work in a field that some consider lobbying.

Obama stood by Daschle's side despite the criticism until Tuesday when the former Senate majority leader formally withdrew his bid for HHS secretary. The president said he accepted Daschle's decision with "sadness and regret."

White House press secretary Robert Gibbs said the health care crunch is more important than any one politician.

"I don't think the effort for health care slows down, and I think Daschle and others would agree the effort for health care is greater than any individual," Gibbs said at a press briefing Tuesday.

But Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nevada, said finding a new nominee quickly was imperative.

"You have 50 million people with no insurance, and we need to step forward on health care for the American people," Reid said.

So how does the prospect of a sweeping health care overhaul look now that Daschle won't spearhead it?

Full story

Filed under: Health care • President Obama • Tom Daschle
soundoff (50 Responses)
  1. This is CHANGE

    Here is what we will have to deal with in the next 'screw up' called National Healthcare:

    "A 69-year-old Japanese man injured in a traffic accident died after paramedics spent more than an hour negotiating with 14 hospitals before finding one to admit him, a fire department official said Wednesday.

    The man, whose bicycle collided with a motorcycle in the western city of Itami, waited at the scene in an ambulance because the hospitals said they could not accept him, citing a lack of specialists, equipment, beds and staff, according to Mitsuhisa Ikemoto.

    It was the latest in a string of recent cases in Japan in which patients were denied treatment, underscoring the country's health care woes that include a shortage of doctors.

    The man, who suffered head and back injuries, initially showed stable vital signs, but his condition gradually deteriorated. He died from hemorrhagic shock about an hour and half after arriving at the hospital, Ikemoto said." –AP 4 Feb 2009

    Now this is CHANGE we can live WITHOUT...literally! Tommy Boy and Barry would have drove us right down the road for the big collision.

    February 4, 2009 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  2. Brian G, Sugar Land, TX

    I believe that Obama's problem in choosing anyone for any post is that Washington has so many secrets that it is difficult to find any ne who meets the new standards that he has set.

    Ask yourself, has any of yoru local, state or federal representative done something over the last four years which was minimally scandulous and maxiumly criminal? I can't think of one!

    February 4, 2009 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  3. Henry Miller, Cary, NC

    Just take it as an omen–the country doesn't need socialised medicine. There's nothing wrong with the US health care system that getting government out of it wouldn't fix.

    February 4, 2009 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  4. NY republican

    I'll take the job – I've payed my taxes (including the 2008 return mailed yesterday). I don't even drink or smoke any more 🙂

    February 4, 2009 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  5. johnny the boy

    The first of many mistakes by the former community organizer.

    February 4, 2009 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
  6. down with corporate politics

    Sam says "If we had an open government,..."

    Ah, what a quaint thought. If Obama really wanted transparency, he would simply do it, as you say. Obama practices what Wash DC has always had: hide until the media exposes you, then deny, then act outraged.

    Nice Change – NOT.

    February 4, 2009 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  7. fred

    If Obama really wants some change, hire a good doctor / former senator Bill Frist. He would be great for the position.

    February 4, 2009 01:59 pm at 1:59 pm |
  8. gl, Pittsburgh

    I am for Howard Dean as well! and to Greg at least he can admitt it. Can say that about Bush. We all make mistates and it is not admitted them that is the problem.

    February 4, 2009 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  9. Simmy

    "I screwed up" is direct and to the point. His statement was fine. This is not the time for eloquence of rhetoric. He is in an action mode. Dealing with an almost shipwrecked economy left by Bush and the Republicans, most people appreciated what he said, and the way he said it. You're supposed to be a citizen supporting your President, not eating fish here. Stop picking apart everything he says and does.

    February 4, 2009 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  10. demwit

    Moral re-evaluation??

    February 4, 2009 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  11. NJHussein330

    I think President Obama should chose Howard Dean or one of the Kennedys. Not familur with anyone else who might be qualified or have the "In's"

    February 4, 2009 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  12. Mike in Houston

    Obama needs to find someone who, if they are cheating on taxes, are in the range of his Treasury Secretary. Apparently for Obama, if you cheat the taxpayer out of $40,000 that's ok; just don' t go over that amount.

    February 4, 2009 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  13. Matthew Truth

    This country is heading for socialism.

    California Democrats want to nationalize the oil companies. Welcome to Russia. Venezuela did the same. Great having dictators.

    February 4, 2009 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  14. tim

    How about the reverend Wright or Bill Ayers, they are probably not tax cheats.

    February 4, 2009 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  15. tim

    It is nice to hear Obama say he screwed up on Daschle. But it's too bad that no one will hold him accountable for nominating a crooked tax cheat to head up the IRS. Not one word by the MSM. Geithner was a much bigger problem because he is the fox in charge of guarding the hen house.

    February 4, 2009 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  16. P. Y.

    Hey Debbie, grow up.
    Why are some people always ready to jump on anything this man says and how he says it? Think about it. Because.........

    If it were Bush or Cheney or McCain would you be as critical ?

    February 4, 2009 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  17. Howard Dean

    I'm so excited I could scream.

    February 4, 2009 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  18. Matt

    Suck it up GOPers...you may have gained a short respite by eliminating Daschle, but universal health care is coming and there is NOTHING you can do about it.

    February 4, 2009 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
  19. Matthew Truth

    Maybe Michelle and Barak can work together and find a better candidate for the position.

    I really hope they can. I think Michelle is really really smart.

    Maybe they can find someone from Chicago. That would be cool.

    February 4, 2009 02:33 pm at 2:33 pm |
  20. Rob

    Don't ask Barry's spiritual advisor, you'll get a rambling diatribe of lies and whackiness about white America trying to kill off the blacks (his words).

    February 4, 2009 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  21. Tony

    You would think that someone who ran such a tight campaign, now sees how hard it is to run an administration in the spot light of the world. How many of his staff choices are going to have tax issues? What's next? I don't see how this is "change" . Its funny to hear Pres. Obama press for better ethics while suspending his own rules to get his choices on staff, while waving off critics saying it was "just a mistake".

    February 4, 2009 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  22. Matthew Truth

    Baraks guys just admitted on MSNBC that they should NOT have let the House write the bill. They said they should have written it themselves or stood over and monitored the reps….

    Well Dems now what do you say.

    Watch GIBBS press report today he is going to go over all of it.

    Poor little nancy pelosi must be upset. wah wah wah. Everything all of you Dems have just wriiten is completely wrong.

    February 4, 2009 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  23. Survivor

    I'm a Democrat (leaning mostly because they are a Positive Party) I pay my taxes – I worked for over 40 years – retired – am not rich – am not elitist – love positive thinking people from all over the world – love a clean and heatlhy environment – want to see "brains" over "brawn" in the White House and am getting sick to death of the comments and attitude of the GOP and their minions.....happily the Democratic Party won the White House and most of the House and Senate – get over yourselves and do something that helps someone else besides yourselves and your Agenda!

    February 4, 2009 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  24. GE in MD

    Another qualified ex-senator is John Edwards. Maybe Obama should consider him.

    Or was John Edward's picadillo a worse offense than failing to get the tax returns right the first time?

    Poor Obama ... finding a stain-free Democrat to take on the responsibility for that most Democrat of Federal Departments (HHS) is proving to be quite a challenge.

    February 4, 2009 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  25. Wedge

    Let's see if he picks someone who fulfils their 'patriotic duties' this time. It's amazing how many of Obama's supporters rallied behind Joe Biden's suggestion that for the wealthy to pay taxes was just such a thing, yet now, it's an 'honest mistake' not to for years on end.

    Or how about picking an ex-lobbyist, and having them sign a pledge stating they won't aid their former employers, with no legal repercussions if they do?

    I'm rapidly losing any hope of this presidency being the change people wanted... Once more, offer lots of promises, and break every one of them.

    February 4, 2009 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
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