The Obama transition team made the following announcement on Thursday:
President-elect Barack Obama nominated on Thursday former Senator Tom Daschle as Secretary of Health and Human Services, naming director of a new White House Office of Health Reform. Dr. Jeanne Lambrew, who authored a book about health care reform with Daschle, will serve as Deputy Director of the White House Office of Health Reform.
This new White House office will coordinate efforts within the Administration, the Congress and across the country to pass health care reform. In his two roles, Daschle will not only implement the President’s vision for health care at the Department of Health and Human Services, but also have the responsibility of leading health care reform. He will be the White House’s voice on this critical issue.
President-elect Obama said, “The time has come – this year, in this new Administration – to modernize our health care system for the twenty-first century; to reduce costs for families and businesses; and to finally provide affordable, accessible health care for every American. Tom Daschle is one of America’s foremost health care experts. He knows how to reach across the aisle and bridge partisan divides and he has the trust of folks from every angle of this issue. Jeanne brings a depth and range of experience on health care that few can match. I look forward to working with them in the months and years ahead.”
Senator Tom Daschle said, “Addressing our health care challenges will not only mean healthier and longer lives for millions, it will also make American companies more competitive and help pull our economy out of its current tailspin. The President-elect and I are committed to an open and inclusive process for health reform that goes from the grassroots up. Over the next few weeks, we will be coordinating thousands of health care discussions in homes across the country through our website www.change.gov where ordinary Americans can share their ideas about what’s broken and how to fix it.”
Senator Tom Daschle, Secretary of Health and Human Services and Director of White House Office of Health Reform
Senator Tom Daschle was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1978, serving eight years. In 1986, Daschle was elected to the U.S. Senate. Two years later he became the first Co-Chairman of the Senate Democratic Policy Committee and the first South Dakotan to be elected to a leadership position in the U.S. Congress. In 1994, Daschle was elected by his colleagues as their Democratic Leader. Daschle is one of the longest-serving Senate Democratic Leaders in history and the only one to serve twice as both Majority and Minority Leader.
Dr. Jeanne Lambrew, Deputy Director of White House Office of Health Reform
Dr. Jeanne Lambrew is a nationally recognized expert on Medicare, Medicaid and children’s health care. She is currently an associate professor of public affairs at the Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs at the University of Texas and a Senior Fellow at the Center for American Progress.