CNN reports Obama picked Tom Daschle for HHS. There’s no link yet, but I’ll update as soon as I can find a good one.
Three sources close to the transition and in a position to know tell CNN that former Sen. Tom Daschle is President-elect Barack Obama’s choice to be Secretary of Health and Human Services and the former Senate Majority Leader has indicated he wants the job.
Most significantly, Daschle negotiated that he will also serve as the White House health “czar” — or point person — so that he will report directly to the incoming President. The significance is this guarantees that by wearing two hats Daschle, and not White House staffers, will be writing the health care plan that Obama submits to Congress next year.
AP‘s got a slightly different take:
WASHINGTON – An official with President-elect Barack Obama’s transition team says former Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle will oversee Obama’s health policy working group.
Daschle had been a close adviser to Obama throughout the Illinois senator’s campaign for the White House. Daschle, who represented South Dakota in the Senate, recently wrote a book on his proposals to improve health care and is working with former Senate majority leaders on recommendations to improve the system.
The official revealed plans for Daschle on grounds of anonymity in the absence of any official announcement. The focus of the working groups is to develop proposals and plans for action for the next administration.