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Health Cabinet Nominee Withdraws

Former Senator Tom Daschle withdrew himself from consideration as Secretary for the Department of Health and Human Services, as well as for the White House’s “Health Care Czar” job today.

While his $140,000 in back taxes were a concern, Daschle’s $5 million in earnings after leaving the Senate raised more than one eyebrow, as Daschle appeared to have cashed in on his Washington insider credentials. In addition to the vast sum of money he received he also had a Cadillac with a driver at his disposal.

Daschle’s trading on his government service and connections into millions of dollars in personal income is at direct odds with the type of service oriented atmosphere the Obama administration is working hard to create. Stepping down was the right thing for him to do.

Daschle’s $5 million in income was generated from contracts with law firms, consulting firms and a smaller percentage of the income was earned from the health services sector that Daschle was to oversee. This represents a serious set back to the health care reform movement championed by Mr. Daschle and the Obama administration.

Let us hope that the Obama administration will pick someone with the credentials and negotiating skills to work with all the major players in the health insurance and health services industries. As things stand today, it may be quite some time before we see any meaningful change here in Colorado.

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