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Stepping Down, Daschle Sends Shockwaves Through Health Policy Arena

Updated 3:18 p.m.
By Ceci Connolly
Proponents of overhauling America's health care system expressed shock today that former senator Thomas A. Daschle (D-S.D.) will not be in position to shepherd President Obama's reform agenda through Congress, saying the pressure now rests on the White House to reinvigorate the effort.

"There's no question that this is a temporary setback because of Tom's deep commitment to health care reform and his close relationship with President Obama," said Ron Pollack, vice president of the liberal advocacy group Families USA. "Ultimately this rests on the shoulders of the president."

When Daschle was nominated in mid-December, health experts from across the political spectrum applauded the choice of an experienced Washington insider with the ability to navigate Capitol Hill. He was chosen to serve not only as a cabinet secretary but also head of a new White House Office of Health Reform, a move designed to ensure he had frequent access to the president and top advisers.

"This was no ordinary appointment and today is not a good day for the cause of health care reform," said Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.). "Tom brought a unique level of legislative skill and experience to this position, in addition to his passion to achieve affordable health care for every American."

The Obama administration never really considered other candidates for the health job because of Daschle's vast experience. Kansas Gov. Kathleen Sebelius, the former Insurance Commissioner in her state, will likely be considered for the position.

Long before Inauguration Day, Daschle was pushing that agenda forward. He had traveled to Indiana shortly after Christmas for a town hall-style meeting to solicit ideas on how the administration could extend health insurance coverage to millions more Americans while at the same time lowering costs.

In Washington meanwhile, the former senate majority leader had been shuttling around town, conferring with insurers, hospital executives, consumer groups and union leaders on how to approach health reform.

Daschle withdrew from consideration today, citing distractions over his failure to pay $146,000 in back taxes and interest.

Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D-Mont.), who endorsed Daschle's nomination last night, said today that despite his disappointment, health reform would move forward on Capitol Hill. Several months ago, Baucus issued a "white paper" detailing his ideas for revamping the health system.

"We're going to do health care reform," said Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.). "This is a certainly a bipartisan issue. We have 50 million people with no health insurance and we moved a step forward on health care for the American people when we passed SCHIP last week."

By Web Politics Editor  |  February 3, 2009; 2:28 PM ET
Categories:  Barack Obama , Cabinet , Health Care  
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Comments

I was golfing yesterday. Maybe I should do that more often and Hillary Clinton will resign?

Posted by: JakeD | February 4, 2009 11:51 AM | Report abuse

The reason the proponents of overhauling American's health care system expressed shock, was because, their "dream of taking over the funds of the Healthcare Industry was dashed. Not having their "inside" man to force the "Universal Hillary Healthcare Package" , upon every citizen, which would have been Daschle; John Kerry's, Harry Reid's, Durbin's, Dobb's, B Franks's, Polosi's, Schummer's dreams were dashed by Daschle.(pardon the pun)
We could give everybody healthcare(that cannot afford insurance premiums) by
increasing the income level of the families that get assistance. Example: We could raise the income level to $80,000.00 or even $100,000.00 for a family of four(4) and use the current pipeline of Medicaid. There is no need to cause an "upheaval" of our Medical Delivery System. We have had free medical help for children for years for not only emergency needs, but for well-checkups, 0-21yrs old. We have had free medical clinics for years for poverty level. It is the middle-income group of citizens that are being excluded from help. The solution, would be to, up the Medicaid ceiling of income to accommodate that average family that needs the entire spectrum of healthcare. The most economical and practical way to help our citizens is to utilize what is already in place. The only reason the "possessed congressional members want to over-haul and ruin our Healthcare System is to get "their greedy hands" on and control the entire Healthcare System down to the last asprin.
The Healthcare System is very sophisticated and complexed and really cannot tolerate mediocracy with mindless senators. I am sure Universal Healthcare would be a "Dream" for Senator J.Kerry, Shummer,Harry Reid, Dobbs, Durbin, Rep. Polosi, B. Frank, but a "One Payor" (Government)Healthcare System would be a "Nightmare" for the United States Citizens.

Posted by: Logic3 | February 3, 2009 10:37 PM | Report abuse

This was a great post by fascistfighter and bears repeating.

What I don't understand is, Why isn't their an uproar from businesses and employees touting HR 676 "The National Health Care Act"? We are in economic free fall and Americans are paying four times more per capita for Health care coverage than Europeans with National single payer health care. American companies pay a premium for health care benefits for their employees. It is part of the draw. However, it tends to only work for the largest, wealthiest, and most established companies. Most companies provide inadequate coverage for their employees, and many can't afford to provide any coverage. It is a logistical nightmare when it come to deciding between the different insurers. The insurance companies now determine the doctors course of treatment as well. Why the negative sentament towards National single payer health care? All Americans with a job would have to pay a percentage of their income each week towards National Health Care insurance. It is not as if our health care benefits don't come out of our pay checks already. Americans could save an estimated forty percent on administrative cost alone, once the system was up and running properly. If companies didn't have to worry so much about health care cost, imagine the additional energy they would have to focus on making money. Please everyone! Get on board! It is time to bite the bullet for something we know we need and have needed for a long time.

Posted by: YellowDogBill | February 3, 2009 9:49 PM | Report abuse

RealCalGal - Where in the Constitution does it say that we have to protect Health Care Corporations, or any corporation for that matter? The Constitution protects the rights of people, not corporations.

We need to do something! Right now almost 50 million people have no health care, which will eventually drive them into poverty, if they are not already impoverished. And just because you wait in long lines in emergency rooms, or go on long waiting lists for kidneys, or are subjected to doctors who commit malpractice, etc. doesn't mean you live in Canada. We have the same thing all over America, except for Hawaii, which has a state universal health care system for 100% of its residents, with no lines at emergency rooms. We need to stop defending our failing health care system and merge the best parts of all the world's health care systems so 100% of Americans have health care, and are not subjected to preexisting conditions.

Posted by: YellowDogBill | February 3, 2009 8:54 PM | Report abuse

Week 3 and counting

Shameful, Arrogant, Greedy

Killefer - Resigns efficiency czar post for not paying taxes
Brother George Obama - Drug arrest
Dashle - overlooks $100,000 tax liability
Rangel - writes tax laws but doesn't pay taxes
Blago - senator for sale
Dodd - writes mortgage law gets sweetheart rates
Richardson - Pay to Play New Mexico
Hillary - live off $250 million of potentates wealth
Emmanuel - Chicago machinist
Barama - Free House from Rezko
Franks - oversees fannie may while living with its CEO
Michelle - $300,000 puff PR job with Blago Hospital District
Geithner - Head of IRS failed to pay taxes for four years
Caroline - illegal housekeeper, payroll taxes unpaid
Holder - pliant enabler of Pardons
Auntie Obama - still in welfare housing illegally in country

Posted by: georgejones5 | February 3, 2009 8:24 PM | Report abuse

thebink:

I've done my homework.

You pay $20,000?

What if you could keep $6,000.00 or $7,000.00 of your money AND have complete health coverage?

I've calculated my health care expenses against what it would cost in Canada.
It's shocking.

95% of Canadians have health insurance.

We aren't even close to that here. On that basis alone our system sucks.

Posted by: JohnQuimby | February 3, 2009 7:52 PM | Report abuse

Dr. Howard Dean.

Posted by: ScienceNerd | February 3, 2009 7:46 PM | Report abuse

This shows enormous class and honesty.

From AP --

WASHINGTON – Barack Obama on Tuesday abandoned his nomination fight for Tom Daschle and a second high-profile appointee who failed to pay all their taxes, fearing ugly confirmation battles that would undercut his claims to ethical high ground and cripple his presidency in just its second week. "I screwed up," Obama declared.

"It's important for this administration to send a message that there aren't two sets of rules — you know, one for prominent people and one for ordinary folks who have to pay their taxes," Obama said in one of a series of interviews with TV anchors.

"I'm frustrated with myself, with our team. ... I'm here on television saying I screwed up," Obama said on NBC's "Nightly News with Brian Williams." He repeated virtually the same words in several other interviews.

Posted by: svreader | February 3, 2009 7:42 PM | Report abuse

google "Canadian healthcare sucks, canadian heathcare people die, canadian healthcare private clinics. Google eight babies no insurance, eight babies Oprah, eight babies no husaba, unemployed." I'm just saying that americans had better do their homework before applauding universal healthcare.

Posted by: thebink | February 3, 2009 7:28 PM | Report abuse

How about Howard Dean for HHS Sec.? An MD and experienced in government. I think he'd make an excellent choice ... YeeHawwwwwwwww!

Posted by: bevjims1 | February 3, 2009 7:26 PM | Report abuse

LOL! :-D

There has got to be some Fat-Cats screaming bloody murder about right now!

They invested SO Much in that Stooge! ;~)

Posted by: SAINT---The | February 3, 2009 7:19 PM | Report abuse

We have a huge boomer population in this country-quite a few of us have already had stents, angiograms etc. Our eyes and ears and joints are going on us. Medicare doesn't seem to be cutting it for our generation and supplements keep going up. If those 35 and younger want to pay for our medical needs so be it, it will help me. As to where I get my info-basically, I google and it seems that many Canadians aren't thrilled with their healthcare in that quite a few come here for it-at least the major life saving procedures and private clinics are popping up for those that can afford it.

Posted by: thebink | February 3, 2009 7:09 PM | Report abuse

"I just don't want our healthcare to mimic that of the UK"S or Canada's where if you have a sore throat or flu, no problem but if you need a kidney, good luck."

Where on earth do you get your information?

I am a Canadian.


Posted by: emendis | February 3, 2009 6:53 PM | Report abuse

Sorry about the double post. My service is so slow today that I thought I had forgotten to hit "submit."

"Where in the constitution does it say that the federal government has the right or requirement to offer health care? The states have the right but not the federal government."

Where does in say in the constitution that the federal government has the right to establish fuel efficiency standards?

Study a bit of constitutional law before you ask such silly questions.

Posted by: RealCalGal | February 3, 2009 6:41 PM | Report abuse

"I don't feel obligated to pay for the likes of women that have fourteen children"

This is slightly off-thread, and maybe everybody know this by now, but I just found out that the woman who just had OCTuplets already had six children.

Assuming she had fertility treatments before this obscene multi-child birth, isn't that malpractice? How can any reputable doctor give fertility treatments to a woman who already has six kids.

OK, maybe her insurance is paying for all this, but MY insurance rates may go up because of it. She had her octuplets at Kaiser, and I'm a Kaiser patient.

Posted by: RealCalGal | February 3, 2009 6:39 PM | Report abuse

"I don't feel obligated to pay for the likes of women that have fourteen children"

This is slightly off-thread, and maybe everybody know this by now, but I just found out that the woman who just had OCTuplets already had six children.

Assuming she had fertility treatments before this obscene multi-child birth, isn't that malpractice? How can any reputable doctor give fertility treatments to a woman who already has six kids.

OK, maybe her insurance is paying for all this, but MY insurance rates may go up because of it. She had her octuplets at Kaiser, and I'm a Kaiser patient.

Posted by: RealCalGal | February 3, 2009 6:38 PM | Report abuse

The quick and easy solution to Daschle's departure is to nominate former two-term Oregon governor John Kitzhaber, M.D. to the position. Founder of the Archimedes Movement, Kitzhaber is on the issue now and has a team in place. As a physician and former chief executive, he's the ideal choice.

Posted by: cmchenry | February 3, 2009 6:22 PM | Report abuse

there is no universal healthcare until electronic healthcare is achieved.

Posted by: TheBabeNemo | February 3, 2009 6:03 PM | Report abuse

And it makes me sick that my husband and I pay over 20,000. a year-you heard me- for health insurance as neither of us work for a corporation so it's strictly out of pocket for us. We are simply not in the position to pay more in order to subsidize anyone. Hillary's plan was truly hideous but most didn't take the time to read what she actually had in mind. Whenever I ask a liberal, how much are you-personally, out of your pocket, willing to pay for some social program, I'm inevitably met with a blank stare.

Posted by: thebink | February 3, 2009 5:43 PM | Report abuse

Representation Without Taxation.

Do As I Say, Not as I Do.

A culture of "competency."

Smart is In.

(Short supply, I would say)

Posted by: theeasypartsover | February 3, 2009 5:36 PM | Report abuse

It makes me sick that because I'm self-employed, and underemployed in this tight economy, my college-age daughter waited an entire month to call and tell me she had fallen down and hurt her knee. She had hoped the pain would go away on its own. I took her to a doctor and told her not to worry about the money. But she's a good daughter and concerned for her mother. I pay $132 a month for the two of us with a $5,000 deductible.

Posted by: mcleangirl | February 3, 2009 5:31 PM | Report abuse


Remember that other tax evader, Ed Brown?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dITKfUJKkl8

Posted by: bri2 | February 3, 2009 5:29 PM | Report abuse

This is great news. Let those deadbeats buy their own insurance.

Posted by: ImpeachObama | February 3, 2009 5:23 PM | Report abuse

"We don’t pay taxes. Only the little people pay taxes."


Leona H.

Posted by: toritto | February 3, 2009 5:23 PM | Report abuse


obama could always get hillary billary doc clinton to reform the nation's health care.

oh wait.

she's our secretary of state.

3:00am in the white house - the phone rings

RING! RING! RING!
RING! RING! RING!

RING! RING! RING!
RING! RING! RING!

president obama; hello?

front gate; mister president?

president obama; yes?

front gate; this is the front gate. you better come quick!

president obama; what is it?!? are we being attacked?

front gate; no sir! it's worse.

president obama; holy socks! worse than being attacked?

front gate; yes sir! far worse.

president obama; give me time to get dressed! i'll be right down!

[18 seconds later president obama appears, wearing full camoflauge, full military gear, and carrying no fewer than six 2-way radios]

president obama; tell me what's happening!

front gate; out on the lawn. over there, sir!

president obama; my GOD! who is that naked lady running in circles around the white house lawn with a stainless steel vegetable colander on her head?

front gate; that's your new secretary of state, sir!

president obama; hillary clinton? what is she doing?

front gate; we have no idea, sir! she just keeps running in circles shouting that snipers are firing at her.

president obama; well, are snipers firing at her?

front gate; no sir! she is alone and naked as the day she was born. well, except for that stainless steel vegetable colander she's wearing on her head!

president obama; we should do something immediately!

front gate; yes sir! what do you have in mind, sir?

president obama; well... we could let out the dogs.

front gate; that's an excellent idea, sir! i'll get right on it.

president obama; you are a good man charles.

front gate; yes sir! thank you, sir!

president obama; i'm going back to sleep..

front gate; bentley? this is charles at the front gate. we have new orders... RELEASE THE HOUNDS....

Posted by: DriveByPoster | February 3, 2009 5:22 PM | Report abuse

Well, something obviously has to be done with our healthcare system. I do think that we need to first get rid of the corruption and waste in the industry and I don't feel obligated to pay for the likes of women that have fourteen children or for illegals. I just don't want our healthcare to mimic that of the UK"S or Canada's where if you have a sore throat or flu, no problem but if you need a kidney, good luck. The rich will always have the best and will go offshore. People must realize that absolutely nothing is ever really free.

Posted by: thebink | February 3, 2009 5:15 PM | Report abuse

"The buck stops here. Obama's lack of ever holding a job, serving in the military, passing any legislation, and inability to possess or display a scintilla of veracity, is within the first weeks of his Presidency revealing him for who he really is. So sad, that this great nation is lead by liars, cheats, and thieves. Many of whom refer to our Generals as "liars." Unbelievably!"

I don't know where you've been, but the previous eight years make the first 14 days of the Obama administration look like genius. Unfortunately he's turning in a mediocre performance during a world wide crisis. He'd better turn it around.

Posted by: tweldy | February 3, 2009 5:13 PM | Report abuse

Capone didn't pay his taxes he went to prison.

Daschle doesn't pay his nothing.

Way to go Obama!!

I guess I don't have to pay my taxes anymore either. Thanks Obama!!

Posted by: jimjenny | February 3, 2009 5:06 PM | Report abuse

What I don't understand is, Why isn't their an uproar from businesses and employees touting HR 676 "The National Health Care Act"? We are in economic free fall and Americans are paying four times more per capita for Health care coverage than Europeans with National single payer health care. American companies pay a premium for health care benefits for their employees. It is part of the draw. However, it tends to only work for the largest, wealthiest, and most established companies. Most companies provide inadequate coverage for their employees, and many can't afford to provide any coverage. It is a logistical nightmare when it come to deciding between the different insurers. The insurance companies now determine the doctors course of treatment as well. Why the negative sentament towards National single payer health care? All Americans with a job would have to pay a percentage of their income each week towards National Health Care insurance. It is not as if our health care benefits don't come out of our pay checks already. Americans could save an estimated forty percent on administrative cost alone, once the system was up and running properly. If companies didn't have to worry so much about health care cost, imagine the additional energy they would have to focus on making money. Please everyone! Get on board! It is time to bite the bullet for something we know we need and have needed for a long time.

Posted by: Fascistfighter | February 3, 2009 5:05 PM | Report abuse

The buck stops here. Obama's lack of ever holding a job, serving in the military, passing any legislation, and inability to possess or display a scintilla of veracity, is within the first weeks of his Presidency revealing him for who he really is. So sad, that this great nation is lead by liars, cheats, and thieves. Many of whom refer to our Generals as "liars." Unbelievably!

Posted by: TEDUCK | February 3, 2009 5:02 PM | Report abuse

Howard Dean will be nominated and take his place.

:-)

Posted by: toritto | February 3, 2009 5:01 PM | Report abuse

"Anyone that has ever been to a welfare clinic would not be so quick to want "universal healthcare". As in anything else, you pretty much get what you pay for."

I can't imagine anything worse that what we have now. I'd be better off if all health insurance was outlawed tomorrow and there was no health insurance of any sort - you just pay for services in a 'free market'.

Without insurance everyone has equal bargaining power, especially if you can pay cash up front. I do a lot of that now for service discounts ($500.00 pediatric ENT appointment for $125.00). Oh, and I do have insurance, but its totally worthless, costs 12K per year, has monstrous deductibles, and has a medium sized novel of documentation about exceptions for services. Since I have a son with a disability, I have been unable to get private insurance. Fortunately, I make enough money to survive, for now.

Posted by: tweldy | February 3, 2009 4:57 PM | Report abuse

concernedaboutdc wrote:

"universal healthcare to those Americans who cannot afford health insurance, which has driven healthcare premiums sky high for those of us who can afford it."

__________________________

Actually, the reality is the exact opposite. Private insurers stiff patients AND doctors so badly, that doctors and hospitals crank up the costs to the uninsured and fee-for-service crowds to try to make up the difference. So, in the end, the huge cut consumed by the insurance industry is billed in one way or another to the government and the OOP patient pool.

Sorry but a profit-driven, parasitic mammoth bureacracy is not a vital ingredient in the delivery of health care. It is the foremost impediment. Odd how most industrialized countries seem to have figured this out.

Posted by: otm_shank | February 3, 2009 4:57 PM | Report abuse

No great loss, unless you are one of the companies who paid $millions to prepare him for his HHS moment. He either tried to evade taxes, or is stupid, but in any case, we don't need that kind of "leadership" in our government. Nor do we need leaders beholden (in a big way) to those they are supposed to regulate.

Posted by: Thinker1 | February 3, 2009 4:51 PM | Report abuse

The fact Kerry and other senators can't believe Daschle is out shows how out of touch our legislators are. Daschle, since leaving the Senate, has been living the life of a rich Republican. He and his wife have made millions from his celebrity associating with executives of the health care industry. With all his money and influence, he doesn't know he has to pay taxes for gifts and fogets to claim $83,000 in consulting fees. How could Daschle hope to understand the suffering and troubles of the average American when power and money have corrupted him so completely. If the average Senator cannot see what is wrong with this picture, we need new leaders and soon!!

Posted by: saelij | February 3, 2009 4:50 PM | Report abuse

ahardwick:

Well done. The health care industry buys the media and the government in this country.

Now for the poltroons out there shrieking about who ought to pay taxes, can we remember the the GOP is actively working on voting Daschle a TAX CUT!

Maybe he just took his a little early.

Posted by: JohnQuimby | February 3, 2009 4:48 PM | Report abuse

We must reform healthcare to include universal healthcare for every American citizen. (keyword: citizen).

Before the fringe right Hooveresque republicans begin their socialism stump speech, much like Hoover labeled all who challenged him as "communists", I am referring to universal healthcare to those Americans who cannot afford health insurance, which has driven healthcare premiums sky high for those of us who can afford it.

I'm talking baseline health maintenance which will benefit everyone. I'd ELECT to pay more and keep my own health insurance benefits. (PPO).

We have got to stop being so selfish and look at the bigger picture. Universal healthcare is a win-win even for those who oppose it. If they work, if they have their own insurance, they can elect the baseline insurance coverage, or keep what they currently have.

Why all the push back.

The illegal immigrant arguement is moot. The majority of us in this country are here by birthrite and legally.

Posted by: concernedaboutdc | February 3, 2009 4:47 PM | Report abuse

Daschle is a loser. The US does not need anymore "Al Capone" types in the cabinet.

As for health care reform. It cannot be reformed. It can only be taken down and national health care instituted. Personally. I don't think now that Obama has what it takes, since he does not know what is even going on in his own administration.

Posted by: Maddogg | February 3, 2009 4:47 PM | Report abuse

ADHARDWICK:posts
"States have the rights that Congress say they have"

"The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people."

One of the most contentious points in the formation of a Federal government came from the individual states. The states didn't want to lose the ability to make regional decisions nor to be subject to an overriding power from a distant national capital. The Tenth Amendment was written to reassure the states that they would remain largely in charge within their own borders. Until the mid-19th century, the Tenth Amendment was often cited by state governments to prevent Federal regulation of everything from taxation to interstate commerce. Since 1837, however, various rulings have mitigated the straightforward meaning of the Tenth Amendment, and such matters as a Federal income tax were subsequently upheld in the courts.

ADHARDWICK; is that a synonym for
'imbecile' in some foreign language ?


Posted by: rtfanning | February 3, 2009 4:46 PM | Report abuse

Anyone that has ever been to a welfare clinic would not be so quick to want "universal healthcare". As in anything else, you pretty much get what you pay for.

Posted by: thebink | February 3, 2009 4:41 PM


"Getting what you pay for" would be a HUGE improvement over private insurance, where you pay and get nothing.

Posted by: otm_shank | February 3, 2009 4:46 PM | Report abuse

Anyone that has ever been to a welfare clinic would not be so quick to want "universal healthcare". As in anything else, you pretty much get what you pay for.

Posted by: thebink | February 3, 2009 4:41 PM | Report abuse

It's always this way with confirmations in the modern era. You think one's a shoo-in and the other's a potential battle, and instead they reverse. Daschle's out, Holder's in with almost no fuss. Call it even.

Maybe these nominees will learn to be straight with the Prez' people during the vetting process.

Posted by: Samson151 | February 3, 2009 4:39 PM | Report abuse

Daschle had to go because his tax problem (a sign of hubris accquired from his bigger problem) caused Obama supporter and Democratic Senators to look at his bigger problem--his being in the tank for big Private Interest (Including Healcare Companies)against the Public Interest ever since he left the Senate. It is beyond me how the "Healthcare Experts" felt he would have been effective in promoting health care reform.

@rchayes:
States Rights. How charming. States Rights as a absolute concept is dead. States have the rights that Congress say they have subject to Supreme Court review.

Posted by: adhardwick | February 3, 2009 4:37 PM | Report abuse

John Kitzhaber should be the next nominee.
Google the name and his Website.

Posted by: shrink2 | February 3, 2009 4:35 PM | Report abuse

get right with the Lord, America is finished and the boys at the top know it.
In 1968 there were riots in Chicago at the Democratic Convention. Those rioters chanted "the whole world is watching."
When the rioters turn their attention on Washington ,DC this time the chant will be ;"the whole world is laughing". As you can see in yesterday's "Barrons" the Chairman of the Fed is being called a liar who is bluffing to the tune of $2 trillion by the global credit markets.
When the Treasury / Federal Reserve fails in their attempts to sell $2 trillion in new debt to global investors already burned by mortgage backed securities, CDO's & credit default swaps what comes next?

Posted by: rtfanning | February 3, 2009 4:34 PM | Report abuse

jobs and health care and a pension

Posted by: blakesouthwood | February 3, 2009 4:33 PM | Report abuse

Hurrah! Good Riddance Tommy Boy.... It made me sick to think I have paid my taxes diligently for over 30 years and my current salary is one third of what you OWED in taxes! Pres. Obama could have earned some respect from me if he had admitted that this was too much..no mere "oops" moment. But no, apparently if a Democrat cheats on his taxes its ok. (paging Al Franken....)

As for the joys of Universal Health Care...even CBS Sunday Morning News had to admit that the premiere system in France was between $12-$14 Billion...that's BILLION... in debt. Just what we need. Too bad you can't get the Dems to start on a reform of Tort Law... at least start with Loser Pays... oh, wait, the Dems get millions from the ABA and lawyers...so not likely anything will get done to cut off their money supply. Ah, plus ca change....plus la mem chose...

Posted by: lostein | February 3, 2009 4:30 PM | Report abuse

I think that Prez Obama should appoint someone that knows the Health Industry. Such as an "Ethical Physician". Not any ex Senator, or even listen to Senators such as, John Kerry, Harry Reid. Also, other congressional unethicals such as Pelosi and the rest of the "Proponents of overhauling America's health care system".
Nor any "unethical doctor" like Dean, that puts politics above the well-being of children and human-beings. I can assure you that the above people, including the President, have no idea about the sophistication and complicated Dept. of Health and Human Serviceses. All they are interested in, is to transfer, the huge amount of dollars into "their greedy hands" for their control. By appointing Daschle, and seeing their hopes "dashed" (pardon the pun) proves why these, possessed indivduals are so disappointed.

Posted by: Logic3 | February 3, 2009 4:29 PM | Report abuse

I like Tom Daschle and think he is overall an honorable man who made a very bad mistake. It had to be a mistake because who puts himself in such a position on purpose? He knows better than most of us that you can't hide such mistakes from the public eye. We ask so much more of public officials than we do of private executives, etc., which is good, as long as we don't shoot ourselves in the foot by doing so. There's a balance here, and we haven't found it.

Posted by: jujones1 | February 3, 2009 4:10 PM | Report abuse


3:00pm in the white house. the phone rings

ring! ring! ring!
ring! ring! ring!

obama; "hello?"

daschle; "hi obama, it's me, tom daschle."

obama; "hey tommy! how're they hanging."

daschle; "to the left, but that's not why i called.."

obama: "well.. what's up then, tommy dude?"

daschle; "ummm.. my taxes. i don't think i should be your secretary of hhs."

obama; "sure you should! it was a little tax evasion for chrissakes.. it's not like you've been EATING people, have you?"

daschle; "uhhh..."

obama; "tommy?"

daschle; "let's just say.. i don't think it's gonna fly.. i'm withdrawing."

obama; "well.. you had good company waiting for you. i was hiring a whole bunch of other tax evaders.."

daschle; "yea i hear. you are really nice to tax evaders."

obama; "i owe them tommy. god spoke to me and told me to hire tax evaders. it's what i must do."

daschle; "wow. that's pretty heavy stuff."

obama; "yes it is, but then, i'm the chosen one."

[in the distance archangels begin singing before getting drowned out by the sound of someone cutting firewood with a chainsaw]

daschle; "sooooo.. mister president, sir?"

obama; "yes?"

daschle; "do you think.. ummm.. do you think i can get my money back?"

obama; "your money?"

daschle; "yea.. that $140,000 that i paid the IRS the other day to get my taxes cleared up.. since i'm not in the running anymore, do you think i can get it back?"

obama; "you want to go back to being a tax evader?"

daschle; "well yea.. if it isn't too much trouble."

obama; "no problem. i'm the grand chief. the head honcho. the big kahuna.. i'll take care of it."

daschle; "thanks obama dude!"

Posted by: DriveByPoster | February 3, 2009 4:06 PM | Report abuse

The first step in the reform process is to have it managed by honest people who are NOT ensconced in the big business of health care. The second step is to have it managed by people who are ETHICAL--and paying your taxes is as good a measure as any. If you are dismayed that Daschle was sent home, then you need to look at your own approach to reform.

Posted by: 0nl00k3r | February 3, 2009 4:06 PM | Report abuse

It's time for the president to do the right thing and choose a candidate for HHS that truly supports universal health care and is not in any way beholden to the insurance industry. The obvious pick would be Dennis Kucinich, who made universal single-payer healthcare the centerpiece of his campaign.

I doubt that the president will choose him because of the inevitable uproar on the right, but then, the right never shuts up anyway, so what do we have to lose?

Posted by: ancient_mariner | February 3, 2009 4:04 PM | Report abuse

WaPo refers to them as "Health Reform Experts."

What a loaded and propogandistic statement. Daschle was simply going to lead the Govt take-over of health care on the National-Socialist Model: Universal health care, with special benefits to SEIU and HMO's with expensive lobbyists.

Posted by: pgr88 | February 3, 2009 4:03 PM | Report abuse

There is no greater domestic urgency than to reform our health care system and reign in costs. Obama must quickly (by the end of the week) appoint someone of unimpeachable integrity (if that person exists s/he is probably not a Washington "insider") to immediately begin the process.

Posted by: billbolducinmaine | February 3, 2009 4:01 PM | Report abuse

To cut the cost of healthcare in our country, ALL ILLEGALS NEED TO GO!!!

In the meantime, Obama is putting the employment of illegals ahead of 12 million unemployed Americans!!!

Mandatory use of E-verify, by federal contractors, which was supposed to go into effect Jan. 15, then Feb. 20, has now been postponed, by Obama, until May 21, 2009.

This means that illegals can take the jobs generated by the stimulus package!!!

Jobs that legally, and rightfully, belong to Americans!!!

Fight back Americans!!!

E-verify needs to be mandated for all employees, not just new hires!!!

E-verify needs to be mandated for all employers!!!

It is known that illegals are working at, at least, 8.7 million jobs. Jobs that they illegally obtained using forged, and/or stolen documents!!! These are jobs in manufacturing, and food processing, jobs that Americans will take.

E-verify will purge those illegals from the work force!!!

Stand up Americans, and fight back!!!

Do not allow Obama, and the Democrats, to get away with this!!!

12 million unemployed Americans need those jobs!!!

Tell your Senators to mandate E-verify for all employers, and all employees!!!

Shame on Obama!!!

Shame on him!!!


ENFORCE OUR LAWS AGAINST ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION!!!

THERE WILL BE NO AMNESTY!!!

OUR ACCEPTABLE IMMIGRATION REFORM

#1. Make Illegal Entry a Felony Permanently Barring Citizenship
#2. Secure Our Borders with our National Guard!!!
#3. Mandate E-Verify for ALL Employees!!!
#4. Cut Off ALL Public Assistance to Illegals and Their Children!!!
#5. Stop the Underground Economy!!!
#6. End Birthright Citizenship for Illegals!!!
#7. End Chain Migration!!!
#8. Make English our Official Language!!!
#9. Cut Off Federal Funds to Sanctuary Cities!!

ALL ILLEGALS NEED TO GO!!!

NOTHING MORE!!! NOTHING LESS!!!

Posted by: buzzm1 | February 3, 2009 4:00 PM | Report abuse

"This was no ordinary appointment and today is not a good day for the cause of health care reform," said Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.)

-------------------------------------

Guess that $5.2 million bribe to Daschle ... oops, I mean "consultation fee" didn't pan out the way they were expecting.

Posted by: playfair109 | February 3, 2009 4:00 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for saving Obama from himself, Tom. Now as to Gov. Sebelius. Geez! Can't Obama get someone like ex-governor John Kitzhaber from Oregon who is a doctor instead of business administrators for the health or insurance industry? Or how about the input of a Director of Nursing, people on the frontlines that know how the beuracracy really affects care? Howard Dean is a doctor, why not him? I am tired of the business class having so much clout in an area where care of patients should be the number one concern. No more conflicts of interest!

Posted by: sandnsmith | February 3, 2009 3:59 PM | Report abuse

Where in the constitution does it say that the federal government has the right or requirement to offer health care? The states have the right but not the federal government.

People, you do not have a "right" to health care. You have the right to work and try to get it but not a right to it. That is the problem these days. People think they have a "right" to have the government provide everything for them. They don't. You do not have a right to a job or an education or health care or a certain rate of pay. You have the right to try and get those things. You have the right to try and get your local or state government to provide them but no right to them from the federal government. There are things you have the right to expect from the federal government but many things more you do not.

Posted by: rchayes | February 3, 2009 3:58 PM | Report abuse

get right with the Lord, America is finished and the boys at the top know it.
In 1968 there were riots in Chicago at the Democratic Convention. Those rioters chanted "the whole world is watching."
When the rioters turn their attention on Washington ,DC this time the chant will be ;"the whole world is laughing". As you can see in yesterday's "Barrons" the Chairman of the Fed is being called a liar who is bluffing to the tune of $2 trillion by the global credit markets.
When the Treasury / Federal Reserve fails in their attempts to sell $2 trillion in new debt to global investors already burned by mortgage backed securities, CDO's & credit default swaps what comes next?


Posted by: rtfanning | February 3, 2009 3:48 PM | Report abuse

It is not the back tax of former senator Daschle that is bothersome to me, even though he should have known better. It is his ties to health care industry that is much more serious. Too bad the media dwell only on the tax issue.

Posted by: steviana | February 3, 2009 3:48 PM | Report abuse

Democrats fell for the oldest trick in the Repblicans book.

We can't afford to keep getting out heads handed to us by the Republicans.

In this particular case, they've slowed down health care reform so people will literally suffer and die because of them.

America elected President Obama to fix what the Republicans broke.

He's way overdoing the whole "bipartisan" thing.

Republicans aren't interested in being bipartisan. They're interested in winning.

Democrats can't afford to lose. America is depending on them!!!

Posted by: svreader | February 3, 2009 3:35 PM | Report abuse

As a citizen and taxpayer, I hereby request that the IRS audit every single Congress-critter in Washington. Who knows how many of them owe back taxes?

BTW, you can start with Jim DeMint. Let's see what kind of glass house he lives in...

Posted by: slavicdiva | February 3, 2009 3:29 PM | Report abuse

So glad the pig with all four hooves in the pay to play health care trough is gone. Like a guy who made $5m from a health care hedge fund is going to make health care for every American affordable.

pd

Posted by: shrink2 | February 3, 2009 3:27 PM | Report abuse

hey...let's get Caroline Kennedy

Posted by: TheBabeNemo | February 3, 2009 3:26 PM | Report abuse

theeasypartsover: "Never mind that America is the only western industrialized country without universal health care. We don't need to address that problem until we complete our search to find an HHS secretary who has never ever made a mistake on their taxes."

Do you REALLY think it was just a "mistake?" Do you REALLY think he accidentally didn't report $83,000 in consulting fees? Do you REALLY think he honestly believed that the free use of a limousine AND a chauffer wasn't taxable?

Come on, get serious. He cheated on his taxes, big time. It was deliberate, NOT a "mistake."

Posted by: gilbertbp | February 3, 2009 3:25 PM | Report abuse

oh please. i don't believe for one second that tom daschle was THE person for that position.

he's already proven himself just as greedy and eager to cash in as every other stinking senator/congressman who has sold out his countrymen for his share of that sweet corporate pie.

good riddance.

Posted by: mycomment | February 3, 2009 3:22 PM | Report abuse


We cannot get universal until we are "electronic". And hence, we must address the illegal eligibility for state programs.

The current data on any enrollee (state health programs) is so messed up/crossed referenced; or doesn't exist--that no one can get an accurate count or even begin to revamp what is wrong. This is in each state.

Duplication rate of the records on insured people on state programs in Arizona alone, for kidscare-- is at 25%. Same person on the program 3 times. (health, food stamps, welfare, etc.)
If it's not Jose Juan Gonzales; it's Jose Gonzales or Juan Gonzales; or Jose Gonzalez (with the z).
And don't EVEN mention how the hyphenated names mess up records (opening doors to cheating the system).

Begin with the data folks. Verifiable data and then maybe the word universal can be implemented.

Posted by: TheBabeNemo | February 3, 2009 3:18 PM | Report abuse

Vomit. We can't find a person who actually pays taxes on his millions of excessive "compensation?" Bull.

Washington and New York are detached from reality.

56 rural white folks have frozen to death in relentless snow and ice, and our "watchdogs" are debating WHY we can't allow tax cheats to be Cabinet Secretaries.

2.6 million have lost jobs, and, let's guess, reasonable health coverage, and we worry why a snotnosed ex-Senator can't just waltz in, after being dropped off by corporate limo, to yet again FAIL to curb lobbyist influence?

Maybe because he's a de facto lobbyist married to one????

Washington is broken. New York is a cesspool of morals.

Read my Lips: Pay Your Taxes

Posted by: theeasypartsover | February 3, 2009 3:14 PM | Report abuse

Typical of American public debate. It's all about character assassination, the 5-second-soundbite cheap shot, rather than substantive debate.

Never mind that America is the only western industrialized country without universal health care. We don't need to address that problem until we complete our search to find an HHS secretary who has never ever made a mistake on their taxes.

Posted by: DupontJay | February 3, 2009 3:03 PM | Report abuse

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