Daschle as HHS Secretary: A Look at the Pros and Cons

Former Senate Minority Leader Tom Daschle has been tapped by Obama to lead the Department of Health and Human Services, and, according to Roll Call, has accepted the position. Think Progress reports that he will also

take on the position of "health care czar" in the Obama White House. CNN's Ed Henry is also reporting he negotiated the "health care czar" position in order to be "the point person on all White House health-related issues."

I'm okay with this selection -- and that's exactly as noncommittal a reaction as it sounds.

On the plus side, Daschle has (literally) written the book on the healthcare crisis. He knows the ins and outs of Congress and how to get shit done; as Drum says, he "is plainly dedicated to healthcare reform, he understands the legislative realities as well as anyone." Steve notes: "The Daschle announcement reinforces the notion that an Obama administration is going to take the push for healthcare reform very seriously" and "the Daschle news makes me even more encouraged about the prospect of a healthcare package actually passing.

Emanuel is insisting that an incremental approach won't do; Baucus and Kennedy are laying the groundwork on the Hill; and Daschle has been preparing for this fight for quite awhile."

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