Quackbooster nominated for HHS Secretary.
Cabinet Secretarys seem to play musical chairs and/or musical titles. HHS Secretary Mike Leavitt was formerly head of the EPA.
Tom Daschle, who is President-Elect Barack Obama's nominee for Secretary of Health and Human Services, provided strong support to unscientific practitioners while serving in the U.S. Congress from 1979-2003.
Daschle has not made intentions clear as to whether or not he will run again for office; however, he signed on as a Senior Policy Advisor with the K Street law firm Alston & Bird. Health care interests, including CVS Caremark, the National Association for Home Care and Hospice, Abbott Laboratories and HealthSouth, are among the firm's lobbying clients. The firm was paid $5.8 million between January and September 2008 to represent companies and associations before Congress and the executive branch, with 60 percent of that money coming from the health industry
Daschle was first author on a book concerning health care coverage which was published on February 19, 2008, titled "Critical: What We Can Do About the Health-Care Crisis". One review stated "Daschle's book delineates the weaknesses of previous attempts at national health coverage, outlines the complex economic factors and medical issues affecting coverage and sets forth plans for change."
You may recall that Daschle failed to be re-elected to his senate seat. He also, in June 2008 lost the democratic primary in South Dakota.
During several sessions, he was a prime supporter of "access to treatment" legislation intended to weaken state licensing boards. A 1997 version, for example, would have given individuals the right to have nearly any desired treatment and permitted practitioners to provide any treatment that would not pose an "unreasonable risk."
Although couched as efforts to preserve patient freedom, such bills would thwart regulation of physicians who engage in quack practices such as chelation therapy.
Tom Daschle has been a fervent supporter of Barak Obama during his presidential campaign. It is not his commitment toward improving health care in America, but a 'political appointment as payback for supporting newly elected Barak Obama.
I hope that the AMA and all specialty societies have pounced on their lobbyists, congressional committees and sends out an email to all members to write their congressman to oppose this nomination and not confirm his nomination.