Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Daschle Appointment Signals End of Robber Baron HMO Era

Tom Daschle, former Senate Minority Leader for the Democrats, has been appointed the cabinet level position of Secretary of Health and Human Services. This means that he will be Obama's point-man on Healthcare Reform. Other people will do research in the coming days that we at ComedyandPolitics will link to, but for now, here's what we got. Sounds like small steps in the right direction.

From an article by Daschle on Huffpo:

The time is now for us to take this challenge head-on. What we need is a change in approach. In my book, Critical: What We Can Do About the American Health-Care Crisis, I have proposed a Federal Health Board that would be a foundation from which we could address all three problems. In many ways, the Federal Health Board would resemble our current Federal Reserve Board for the banking industry. Just as the Federal Reserve ensures certain standards, transparency and performance for our banking industry, the Fed Health would ensure harmonization across public programs of health-care protocols, benefits, and transparency. Ultimately, the Fed Health would offer a public framework within which a private health-care system could operate more effectively and efficiently.

He's certainly not advocating a single-payer system, but no one expected that. Only Kucinich has the balls to be right.

Here's some strong words from Daschle.

Health care is a complex topic, but myths should not cover up a simple truth: We are wasting money by paying top dollar for mediocre results. I believe we need a new approach to health reform – an approach that results in major reform, not incremental change. We need to create new coalitions to push for reform and find new answers that work for everyone. We need to move beyond ideology and partisanship and meet our common health care system challenges with commonsense answers to provide affordable, quality health care to everyone in this great nation. This is not a weak alternative; it is the only one.

I'm a fan of "major reform, not incremental change." If he's willing to go all out for a major overhaul, that's a positive developement.

The general concensus is that Obama's healthcare policy is less progressive than Sen. Clinton's or John Edwards'. This appointment hasn't changed that perception one way or another so far. As others investigate, ComedyandPolitics will pass along.

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