Patterico's Pontifications

11/19/2008

Obama Names Tom Daschle as HHS Secretary (Updated)

Filed under: Obama — DRJ @ 2:55 pm



[Guest post by DRJ]

The Chicago Tribune reports Barack Obama has named former Senator Tom Daschle to be his Secretary of Health and Human Services. (Perhaps this explains in part Obama’s revised lobbyist rules that focus on the area of expertise. Daschle’s wife is an established lobbyist regarding aviation matters.)

This position will likely make Daschle the point man on health care — especially since he wrote a book on the subject earlier this year– so let’s look at his record:

  • Voted to allow more affordable drugs via Canadian imports.
  • Voted YES on allowing patients to sue HMOs in state and federal courts & collect punitive damages up to $5M.
  • Voted YES on increasing tobacco restrictions, an anti-smoking vote.
  • Voted NO on means-based testing for Medicare insurance premiums.
  • Voted YES to block a plan which would allow tax-deductible medical savings accounts.
  • Voted to increase funding to combat the global HIV/AIDS epidemic.
  • The Publishers’ Weekly review of Daschle’s book adds this: “Daschle proposes creating a Federal Health Board, similar to the Federal Reserve System, whose structure, functions and enforcement capability would be largely insulated from the politics and passion of the moment, in addition to a merging of employers’ plans, Medicaid and Medicare with an expanded FEHBP (Federal Employee Health Benefits Program) that would cover everyone.”

    Given his background and connections in Congress, Daschle’s appointment suggests Obama is considering comprehensive health care legislation and wants an experienced politician to handle it.

    Bad news for the free market. I know this isn’t the only reason but no wonder the Dow is under 8,000. What’s worse is Obama hasn’t even taken office yet.

    UPDATE: Chief of Staff-designate Rahm Emanuel says Obama wants universal health care because incremental increases in coverage won’t be acceptable.

    — DRJ

    58 Responses to “Obama Names Tom Daschle as HHS Secretary (Updated)”

    1. I know this isn’t the only reason but no wonder the Dow is under 8,000.

      Is there a factual basis for saying the prospective Daschle nomination was one of the reasons?

      steve (ca0667)

    2. Free market? We’ll be lucky to have one after the Obamanation takes hold.

      Fed health care board? *chokes on own laughter whilst sipping green tea*

      Holy F**Kballs! Serious?

      The gov+healthcare= YOU DIE

      *curls up in fetal position*

      Depressed-Repub (63e721)

    3. steve,

      No, pure speculation.

      DRJ (a50047)

    4. Joy Joy. Tricare for the masses…
      Don’t do it.

      voiceofreason2 (4d5de2)

    5. Federal Health Board

      Oh goody, nationalized healthcare, and I bet government enforced health checkups, fines for anyone exceeding BMI guidelines, and restriction of medical care of anyone deemed less-then-optimal of “quality of life”.

      Darleen (187edc)

    6. Barack Obama picked Tommy D,
      Who’ll give us health care for free
      But what will he say
      When to our dismay
      Our health care becomes misery?

      The Limerick Avenger (556f76)

    7. It seems to me that
      Tom Daschle isn’t much change
      I hate his smug grin

      The Haiku Avenger (556f76)

    8. So what will we get from Barack?
      Free health care from some real quack?
      Tom D will still say,
      For this you don’t pay
      Try not to have a heart attack!

      The Limerick Avenger (556f76)

    9. DRJ, you don’t need to say
      That Wall Street is filled with dismay
      Because Tommy D
      Will say there’s no fee
      For health care that we want today.

      The Limerick Avenger (556f76)

    10. Comment by steve — 11/19/2008 @ 3:17 pm

      The stock market moves on a lot of emotion.
      Who can ascertain what specific thing drives that emotion?
      If you put twenty economists into a room, you would get 25+ opinions on how to solve a problem.
      And, the market closed under 8K for the first time since 2003!

      Another Drew (a9b92d)

    11. “I know this isn’t the only reason but no wonder the Dow is under 8,000.

      Is there a factual basis for saying the prospective Daschle nomination was one of the reasons?”

      DRJ – steve got to it before oiram! Amazing that people who have been around the markets for 30 years are not allowed to have opinions about what affects them.

      I wonder how exactly you establish a factual basis for something moving the market to steve’s satisfaction? My guess is it would depend on which party the news related to and whether the market was moving up or down.

      daleyrocks (5d22c0)

    12. Oh, don’t worry much, ‘nother Drew
      For most, investments are few
      And you won’t have to pay
      Cap gain taxes today
      Cap losses are now what we rue

      The Limerick Avenger (556f76)

    13. My daughter just said: try sonnets
      But I’m so bad with my phonics,
      That there’s just no way
      I can do that today
      I think I’ll need gin and tonics!

      The Limerick Avenger (556f76)

    14. “Bad news for the free market. I know this isn’t the only reason but no wonder the Dow is under 8,000. ”

      I wonder how the dow would react if we decided to subsidize all our employers like a lot of other countries do: with universal health care.

      imdw (cb7581)

    15. Comment by imdw — 11/19/2008 @ 5:44 pm

      Do you have some specific reason that you want to drive the market to the 5’s, or is this a “just wondering”?

      With the prospective nomination and confirmation of Daschle, how long do you want to wait until you unload your “Big Pharma” stock?

      Another Drew (a9b92d)

    16. …functions and enforcement capability would be largely insulated from the politics and passion of the moment

      That is a real knee slapper. That so funny I am wiping the tears from my eyes.

      Perfect Sense (9d1b08)

    17. Comment by imdw — 11/19/2008 @ 5:44 pm

      Maybe you’d like 20%+ unemployment like Sweden? Or maybe the underemployment in France with oodles of young adults living in cramped quarters with their parents?

      Ah heck, why just “subsidize” companies with nationalized medicine? Why not just make every person in the US an employee of the Federal government and assign jobs? And an adequate ration of food? And shelter?

      Aren’t those rights?

      BTW, where is my free gas and mortage? Hop to it, imdw, my need outweighs your ability.

      Darleen (187edc)

    18. Darleen wrote:

      Ah heck, why just “subsidize” companies with nationalized medicine?

      Actually, what we do is have individuals and private companies subsidize our nationalized health care.

      We have a totally bastardized system: we have private insurance health care. Normal market discipline holds that in a private system, if you don’t pay for something for which there is a fee involved, you don’t get it.

      But, in the United States, you do get health care, whether you pay for it or not: we don’t let uninsured people just die in the streets! Without that bit of market discipline, we essentially have those of us who have insurance subsidizing those who don’t.

      The real question — and the one nobody asks — is how we get the free-riders to actually pay for what they receive.

      The concerned Dana (556f76)

    19. Remember in 2006 (stock market bumping 15,000, unemployment rate 4.5%) the democrats promised that if they put them in charge they would change the direction of the country. How’s the change working out? Dead end Dachele has always been part of the problem, never a part of the solution. Hussein O is surrounding himself with experienced criminals and anti-americans, what a shock.

      Scrapiron (c36902)

    20. Dana

      of the so-called 44 million without health care, a little more than half of ’em CAN afford it but choose not to get it.

      It might mean having to give up the 42″ plasma tv or going out to eat only twice a month rather than 5 times a month …

      Offhand I’d say that medical bills not covered by insurance become non-dischargeable (like fed. student loans) and that the IRS collect ’em.

      Darleen (187edc)

    21. I’ve wondered for awhile why the horrid spectre of universal health care is so loathed by the huge companies who will benefit the most from it. Same with retirement benefits.

      If I were CEO of GM or Ford, saddled with huge company funded health insurance costs and retirement obligations for my employees, I would think I owed a fiduciary duty to my shareholders to try to get those costs off my company’s back by spreading the costs out to society at large. And I would think I owed a moral duty to my employees to support plans that provided them with better health care and retirement benefits than my company could provide them in the current, broken, inefficiently structured system where the only ones benefiting are the most openly corrupt HMOs, charnel-house insurance company approved “health care providers,” and doctors financially incentivized to ignore the Hippocratic Oath and deny the care they are paid to apply in order to meet the financial targets of the bean counters responsible for making sure the whole sordid structure of health care for profit stays in the black.

      Some sort of universal health care and enhanced retirement benefits are going to have a huge positive benefit to the bottom line of those big companies who now fund those from their own pockets, since they won’t have to pay for those things themselves. They might be facing higher taxes as a result, but the trade-off of paying their share of a universal health care regime, where the payers are pretty much everyone, will be less than solely funding the costs for their own employees themselves.

      Aplomb (b6fba6)

    22. of the so-called 44 million without health care, a little more than half of ‘em CAN afford it but choose not to get it.

      Do you have a citation to support that statistic?

      aphrael (e0cdc9)

    23. Aplomb,

      My guess is corporations like GM will have to continue to fund their employees’ health care benefits pursuant to the collective bargaining agreements … unless the Democratic Congress specifically legislates corporate obligations are void, and I doubt that will happen.

      DRJ (a50047)

    24. I’ve wondered for awhile why the horrid spectre of universal health care is so loathed by the huge companies who will benefit the most from it. Same with retirement benefits.

      Perhaps because they have some inkling of how the economy works, and they know that nothing comes for free. Even if they are able to pass off their health and retirement costs to some government entity, the government will have to find some way to fund it. Ergo, the government will probably levy taxes, which will in turn harm the companies by driving up the prices and thus driving down sales. That’s also how we get to the European standard of 12% unemployment.

      You can support government takeover of health and retirement if you wish, but for Heaven’s sake stop it with the faculty club b.s. argument that it won’t have any negative effects on the rest of the economy.

      JVW (89c289)

    25. aphrael,

      Here’s a study on poverty and health care. I don’t know if it answers your question but it’s interesting.

      DRJ (a50047)

    26. DRJ, didn’t Obama’s Senate staff come wholesale over from Daschle?

      SPQR (26be8b)

    27. is how we get the free-riders to actually pay for what they receive.

      Some states have already moved forward with requiring insurance companies wishing to do business in their environs to cover everyone, regardless of prior conditions or their present physical state. In expanding the risk pool dramatically in this manner, citizens get decent rates with several coverage options, and people are not left out in the cold if they’re of modest means. OTOH, the truly indigent are still treated and paid for by the state, so that factor may offset the other savings over time.

      We could also look to France for another example, but I don’t understand how that system works well enough to explain it properly. Mike K. knows it intimately, so perhaps he’ll come back with a fuller explanation.

      Dmac (e30284)

    28. Mike K did an insightful series on the French model of health insurance. It also addresses the free rider question that plagues the U.S.

      http://abriefhistory.org/?p=400

      Dana (79a78b)

    29. SPQR,

      I don’t know but the Chicago Tribune link says “Obama’s campaign and transition staff has been heavily represented by former Daschle aides.”

      DRJ (a50047)

    30. Good link, Dana. Mike K is always instructive on medical issues.

      DRJ (a50047)

    31. Comment by Dmac — 11/19/2008 @ 7:01 pm

      Funny. Same post in mind.

      Dana (79a78b)

    32. I remember discussing this issue with Mike over at the old blog, Dana.

      Dmac (e30284)

    33. Ditto, Dmac. I had never realized the French system was such a viable one. And if I remember correctly, America was looking toward Canada’s model mostly because they were close and we spoke the same language!

      Dana (79a78b)

    34. Daschle

      Not a shining example of partisan unity

      EricPWJohnson (cc9286)

    35. I’ve updated the post to include comments by Obama’s Chief of Staff-designate that the goal is universal health care.

      DRJ (a50047)

    36. Yet another campaign talking point by Obama that reached its sell-by date.

      SPQR (26be8b)

    37. How is that Massachusetts experiment going?

      daleyrocks (5d22c0)

    38. France..hmmmm…isn’t that where a few thousand seniors died in hospitals across the nation in
      August due to vacations and lack of air conditioning?

      Darleen (187edc)

    39. Would someone like to explain to me why we are talking about nationalized health care but no one would dare propose the same thing about the food industry?

      I mean, isn’t food more important than medical care? How dare some people go hungry! The Feds must control food from production through delivery! There needs to be a Federal Food Bureau on par with the Fed Reserve System.

      Darleen (187edc)

    40. When complete Nationalization occurs…

      In the old Soviet Union, the shelves of the stores available to the proletariat were mostly bare, and what was available was of (being generous) poor quality.
      Yet, in the heart of Mockva, there was a department store called G.U.M. Here, every desirable Western good was available. But, only Westerners, and high-level Party cadre, were allowed admission – Passports were examined, and Party lists were checked.
      And, all purchases had to be paid for in Hard Currency.

      Will are generous leaders in DC set up the same privileges for themselves?
      I wonder what currencies will be accepted?

      As was said in the C.C.C.P.:
      We pretend to work, and they pretend to pay us.

      Another Drew (a9b92d)

    41. Darleen – Get with the Obama and Gore program – Feed cars not people!

      daleyrocks (5d22c0)

    42. Hussein O sets out to break the Slick Willie record:
      The only president ever impeached on grounds of personal malfeasance
      – Most number of convictions and guilty pleas by friends and associates*
      – Most number of cabinet officials to come under criminal investigation
      – Most number of witnesses to flee country or refuse to testify
      – Most number of witnesses to die suddenly
      – First president sued for sexual harassment.
      – Second president accused of rape**
      – First first lady to come under criminal investigation
      – Largest criminal plea agreement in an illegal campaign contribution case
      – First president to establish a legal defense fund.
      – First president to be held in contempt of court
      – Greatest amount of illegal campaign contributions
      – Greatest amount of illegal campaign contributions from abroad
      – First president disbarred from the US Supreme Court and a state court

      Scrapiron (d671ab)

    43. A few more records to break:
      CRIME STATS

      – Number of individuals and businesses associated with the Clinton machine who have been convicted of or pleaded guilty to crimes: 47
      – Number of these convictions during Clinton’s presidency: 33
      – Number of indictments/misdemeanor charges: 61
      – Number of congressional witnesses who have pleaded the Fifth Amendment, fled the country to avoid testifying, or (in the case of foreign witnesses) refused to be interviewed: 122

      Scrapiron (d671ab)

    44. http://prorev.com/legacy.htm , This is like reading a comic book. Notice how many times ‘Hillary’ couldn’t remember…

      Scrapiron (d671ab)

    45. Hell, Scrap, we should be able to break those records just in the campaign-finance sector.

      Another Drew (a9b92d)

    46. ____________________________________

      Mike K did an insightful series on the French model of health insurance. Comment by Dana — 11/19/2008 @ 7:05 pm

      Although I’m always suspicious and cynical about anything political or governmental involving very socialized, very gauche, France — and understandably so when its unemployment rates are consistenly high and its job-formation rates are consistently lethargic, and the percentage of its GDP and employment base dependent on government activity also is noticeably high — that nation oddly and ironically enough may not be quite so boneheaded when it comes to healthcare.

      Here is what I’d consider the nub of the second part of Mike K’s assessment of France’s healthcare system:

      The basic principle of French healthcare is avance de frais, or payment directly from patient to doctor. The freedoms of personal payment, freedom to choose a doctor and the doctor’s freedom to practice, are fundamental to the French system. The patient is reimbursed by insurance, 80% by Securite Sociale, and the rest by assurance complementaire but the principle is supported by the French when they are surveyed and they are suspicious of “free care” as wasteful and liable to abuse.

      Mark (411533)

    47. Federal Health Board.

      Just the sound of it is frightening.

      Patricia (ee5c9d)

    48. I’m still thinking…

      What revised lobbyist plan?

      Did I miss a few flips… or did he specify ‘for picks’?

      He had many lobbyists working on the campaign, he just said he didn’t.

      Candy (8e1a26)

    49. incremental increases in coverage won’t be acceptable

      Do not expect incremental change. That is our idea, not theirs.

      Amphipolis (fdbc48)

    50. where the only ones benefiting are the most openly corrupt HMOs, charnel-house insurance company approved “health care providers,” and doctors financially incentivized to ignore the Hippocratic Oath and deny the care they are paid to apply in order to meet the financial targets of the bean counters responsible for making sure the whole sordid structure of health care for profit stays in the black.

      Now there is a level-headed emotionless description of our system.

      JD (b96a9e)

    51. “BTW, where is my free gas and mortage? Hop to it, imdw, my need outweighs your ability.”

      No matter how hard you try, your fevered wingnut dreams won’t come true. But you have 4 years to try. Get to it!

      Then when you give up I’ll hook ya up with a dumpster-dived bicycle and a guide to the “freegan” lifestyle written by some privileged suburban kids.

      imdw (cb7581)

    52. imdw – Baracky is going to take care of our gas and mortgages. His supporters told us so.

      JD (b96a9e)

    53. “imdw – Baracky is going to take care of our gas and mortgages. His supporters told us so.”

      I encourage wingnuttia to hold on to this. Pop popcorn and watch from the sidelines as democrats decide which of complementary and competing democratic priorities to advance.

      imdw (95ac63)

    54. Daschle (and his wife ) exemplify what is WRONG with our entire policial system & government. These so-called public servants leave their states to go to Washington – but NEVER return.

      What ever happened to the citizen statesman? That did a stint at public service, served the People then returned home, went back to private life. I am sick of career politicians and dynasties (Kennedys, Bushes, Clintons, Gores) that ruin our government and country, while they all get vastly richer. Once most of these wretches taste power they are addicted – for life.

      The Clintons came to Washington broke. They are now worth over $100-million, and the Clinton Foundation (a shadow government) is said to be worth over $500-million. Recall they were from Arkansas, yet carpetbagger Hillary runs for the senate in NY – and the fools there elected her. Al Gore did not even win his “home” state Tennesee in the 2000 election, now his global warming & green “business” is worth over $300-million. (Imagine what things would have been like, had Gore in fact won in 2000 and he was president on 911? The best thing that ever happened to Gore was that he lost in 2000.) No telling what the Bushes got from the Arabs (Saudis, Kuwaitis, UAEs), along with Cheney (the lone congressman from Wyoming, last checked worth over $50-million). What Kissenger got from China. They all did this under the guise of “public service” and “helping the children”.

      I am tired of getting fleeced and f__ked over by these cretins. Both major parties have ruined our political system and government and are killing this country, while they get extremely rich.

      Weren’t we supposed to have a limited government?

      What an irony, that the pols are beating up on the big 3 Auto Execs for making bad decisions and wasting money. Although there is some truth there, it is simply sickening that the criticism is coming from these BOZOS, who have a 9% favorable rating with the American People, just threw away over $1-trillion in amorphous ‘bailouts’, who regularly fly off on junkets to the tropics and routinely attend fundraisers sponsored by lobbyists, and who for decades have failed to do anything about the economic tsunamis crashing down on us from social security, medicare, prescription drugs, Fannie & Freddie and illegal immigration.

      Recall the Seven (7) Tobacco Dwarfs who committed serial perjury? “I do not think that nicotine is addictive.” Well how many got prosectured? How many Pols were taking money from big tobacco at that time?

      How many Pols are taking money from the big 3 Auto companies at this?

      Without a responsible media, it’s largely all theater.

      But ultimately it is WE THE PEOPLE that are responsible, because we desrve the government that we let happen.

      Gary L. Zerman (55474e)

    55. Face it: UHC is going to be Obama’s raison d’être as president. What else could he do for a major accomplishment . . . unite Israel & Palestine? Stave off the re-emergence of the Russian bear? This is it, folks!

      God help us.

      Icy Truth (aedb2f)

    56. Aren’t there enough Senators in Congress? Do we really have to fill the executive branch with them too? And Chuck Hagel is still waiting.

      How did it come to this…

      Amphipolis (fdbc48)

    57. Obama was going to stay away from lobbyists, according to his leftist illuminati campaign promises. Now, how does Daschle fit into that promise?

      Jeff (325ebe)


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