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. MysteriousTraveller

    The choice is obvious – Dr. Howard Dean.
    He should have been the nominee in the first place.

    February 4, 2009 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  2. Greg

    "I screwed up", how many times are we going to hear that?

    February 4, 2009 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  3. mw

    I am for Howard Dean as well.
    After all that is settled, how about an executive order to audit and report on all tax returns for past 5 years all repugs and demos in DC.

    February 4, 2009 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  4. mw

    I expect everyone else in DC is lily white and pure. No skeletans in the closet. Maybe a few "Oh, I didn't know that was reportable", or Oh my, I simply failed to see that omission." So many repugs will be found to be cheating on something it would make our heads swim. When all auditing is completed on all politicians both parties, let the sinless and pure stand up and say "Halleluya amen, I am a saint"

    February 4, 2009 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  5. Michael from Cambridge

    Maybe Dr. Howard Dean might find a place at HHS?

    February 4, 2009 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  6. Debbie Brady

    I appreciate Pres. Obama's admission that he made a mistake with the Tom Daschle nomination. I just wish he could have stated that a little more eloquently, instead of "I screwed up". There should be big difference between the phrases used by teenagers and speaking as the President.

    February 4, 2009 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  7. Sam Constine

    If we had an open government, we would have the IRS audit all of government employees, then show results on the internet. This would help uncover corruption which should us where or weaknesses are. Lead from the top down and the bottm up start fresh today. Recient evens have shown us that top government officlals are not as clean as we thought. Infact every person in the final national election should be vetted.

    February 4, 2009 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  8. buckwheat19

    What's next?
    Probably another tax dodging nominee. So much for the administration of change and transparency.

    February 4, 2009 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  9. Mike

    I am sure obama can find another tax cheat to put in his cabinet.

    February 4, 2009 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  10. Bev

    A lot of blame is put on President Obama for choosing these politiciansto be part of his cabinet. it seems very unfair in my eyes. The question the media should ask, is why do politicians (irrespective of their party) not take care of their tax business appropriately, especially if they see themselves climbing the "politics ladder" as future aspirations. Us little people get our butts dragged into court in no time if we screw up regarding taxes. Not only are these politicians in the means, but they are also more knowledgeable about these things. Some of them even have their own accountants for crying out loud! Enough already, the president cannot take responsibility for the screw ups of these "professionals". His mistake was to have a keen eye for expertise, unfortunaley that seems to come with "elephants".

    February 4, 2009 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  11. Cool President

    Obama may be "cool" about the whole thing, but the citizens are not cool.. It is not a joking matter. Is what we're getting, with an on-the-job-training commander-in-chief?

    February 4, 2009 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  12. Soleil

    Not only is he the perfect appointment for HHS, we owe Howard Dean.

    February 4, 2009 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  13. RJN

    I don't care who is picked Rep or Dem just make sure they have paid all their taxes.

    February 4, 2009 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  14. Albuquerque

    Hey Obama....use your head.....Elizabeth Edwards is the WOMAN for the job

    February 4, 2009 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  15. Kana

    How about Dr. Phil for the lead position of HHS And then Oprah can be the White House press secretary

    February 4, 2009 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  16. Obama and Gaffe-man

    Sounds like Obama has been around Biden too much..He's figured out that the "soaring rhetoric" is only good for election purposes. Kind of like Hillary shaming "poor Bill" during her oath of office. What ever happened to professionalism?

    February 4, 2009 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  17. This is CHANGE

    the SMARTEST thing Barry could do is nominate a sitting Repub Senator. Let the system adjust the balance of power for CHANGE.

    February 4, 2009 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  18. Proud to be an American

    Debbie....what difference does it make which phrase Pres. Obama uses...the result is the same and everyone understood him. He could have used a Bushims and said he "mis-underestimated" Daschle. And Greg...at least he is admitting his mistakes. What do you want...a cover up?????

    At any rate...he did screw up by picking someone who was not honest during the vetting process. Blame should be placed square on the shoulders of Daschle for not declining the cabinet position if there was even a minute hint of any kind of irregularities in his background. Daschle is a dunce!

    February 4, 2009 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  19. Ann

    Howard Dean

    February 4, 2009 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  20. obama-mama

    Greg February 4th, 2009 12:30 pm ET

    "I screwed up", how many times are we going to hear that?

    When tale from the crypt McCain say in on Letterman show did you ask how many times are we going to hear it. Did you request it from GWB? shut up

    February 4, 2009 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  21. Kristin D in BFLO NY!

    Howard Dean would be a great choice. Barack's administration just needs to make sure that he has paid his taxes before he tells the Nation.

    February 4, 2009 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  22. Aristide

    It is not President Obama who screwed up, it's Daschle who lied pure and simple to the Obama team in June. I am glad he had the sense to withdraw his nomination.

    February 4, 2009 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
  23. Dan

    Obama has nobody there to take up this cabinet post for HHS. Robbert Gibbs is a campaigner. He cannot even handle the press secretary job for Barack. What a disgrace. Barack has realized that there are no good, honest people around to join his cabinet.

    February 4, 2009 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
  24. Irishny

    How about finding someone who pays their taxes.
    That would be a start.
    Is there any democrats out there who do that though?

    February 4, 2009 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  25. Bob

    I am sure it is just a matter of time before Bill Schneider puts out a poll saying that Obama still has the approval 99.97% of all Americans in terms of his choice for HHS secretary.

    February 4, 2009 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
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