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Daschle nomination as US health tsar failed because of income tax problems and industry ties

BMJ 2009; 338 doi: (Published 10 February 2009) Cite this as: BMJ 2009;338:b551
  1. Janice Hopkins Tanne
  1. 1New York

    The former Democratic Senator Tom Daschle withdrew his nomination as secretary of health and human services and as director of the new White House Office of Health Reform on 4 February after criticism of his late payment of income taxes and his industry ties.

    The federal Department of Health and Human Services is a huge agency that accounts for about one quarter of federal spending. It oversees the National Institutes of Health, the Food and Drug Administration, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, the US Public Health Service Commissioned Corp of more than 6000 health professionals, and several other agencies.

    President Barack Obama has promised to overhaul US health care and had planned a White House office to oversee it, but his plans are now likely to be delayed.

    Mr Daschle was widely considered to be highly qualified for the two posts, and his withdrawal left President Obama and his team without a substitute …

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