Daschle to Head Health Services, New Reform Office

Move seen to signal Obama's focus on issue
By Harry Kimball,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 11, 2008 2:46 PM CST
Jeanne Lambrew, deputy director-designate of the White House Office of Health Reform.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – As expected, President-elect Barack Obama today nominated Tom Daschle as Secretary of Health and Human Services, CQ Politics reports. Daschle will also head the new White House Office of Health Reform, geared toward providing near-universal health care to Americans. Daschle “will be responsible not just for implementing our health care plan,” Obama said. “He will also be lead architect.”

Obama will also bring in Daschle’s co-author of Crisis, a “groundbreaking” book on health care, as deputy director of the new office. Jeanne Lambrew served under President Clinton and has been involved in drafting health legislation in Congress. Daschle hopes the office will be transparent and open to the citizenry’s ideas. Its creation “is a strong affirmation that health reform is on the agenda,” Sen. Max Baucus said.