Thursday, November 20, 2008

Health Train Daschle

What's your take on this new announcement today regarding Tom Daschle's most likely nomination to replace Mike Leavitt as head of HHS.?

What is the connection here? What does Tom Daschle really know about health care? We could at least say that Mike is a physician, MD.

Mr Daschle recently published a book "

Critical: What We Can Do About the Health-Care Crisis


Since 2007, Daschle has been an advisor to the law firm of Alston & Bird LLP. Although Daschle is not a registered lobbyist, his firm was paid $5.8 million between January and September to represent companies and associations before Congress and the executive branch, with 60% of that money coming from the health industry.  I didn't see any physician representation in the list of associations he represented in D.C.

Another familiar name that signed on with Alston & Bird after he left Bush's administration is Tom Scully, aslo a former head of CMS.


Health IT insiders say they support President-elect Barack Obama's reported pick of former Sen. Tom Daschle (D-S.D.) to be the next HHS secretary, Healthcare IT News reports.

The Obama transition team has not yet formally announced the nomination, but sources are confirming that Daschle has accepted the position.

Sources also report that Daschle will serve as the top health care adviser, or health care czar, to the Obama White House, Healthcare IT News reports.

John Halamka, CIO of Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston,

said Daschle has "a deep understanding of the need to increase the value of health care in this country by reducing costs and enhancing quality."

Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich (R-Ga.) said, "Sen. Daschle has long been committed to reforming health care so that all Americans get quality, effective care," adding, "Daschle promotes greater transparency, paying for quality care and a fully electronic health system."


You can check in on this issue with your representatives in D.C. Let them know if this is a thumbs up appointment or thumbs down.

What are the issues Daschle is focusing upon?

Daschle says Medicare should pay more for care that leads to good outcomes, and should stop paying for unnecessary or harmful treatments .    He also argues that all Americans should be required to buy health insurance — a key difference from Obama, 

Perhaps the most striking part of Daschle’s plan is his call to create a Federal Health Board, modeled on the Federal Reserve Board that manages monetary policy. The basic idea is to create an institution, run by experts, that answers to the government but is “largely insulated from the politics and passions of the moment,” he writes.  Perhaps most importantly, the Board would assess the effectiveness and costs of various treatments.

“Like monetary policy, health-care policy shouldn’t be subject to the whims of subcommittee chairmen and special interests,” Daschle continues. 

According to what I read this promises to be a battle of the titans, Kennedy,Clinton, Henry Waxman,

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