Officials from the Obama transition team have let it be known that former Senate Democratic Leader Tom Daschle is the pick to be the next Secretary of Health and Human Services.
This does not come as a great surprise; Senator Daschle has been signaling for months now that he wanted HHS, as I pointed out back in August. Why did Daschle want the HHS job? As I write in a new article over at National Review Online:
Daschle is apparently eager to take the assignment not so much because he relishes the challenge of managing the vast HHS enterprise but because, like many of his former colleagues in Congress, he wants to cap his career by being closely associated with passage of a nationalized-health-care plan. And he senses, as others do, that the moment may have arrived.
And it very well may have. With 58 Democratic votes in the Senate (and counting), there will be a strong push from Democrats to seize the political momentum and pass something very big next year.
Just what kind of reforms are Daschle and his former Senate colleagues now contemplating? I lay out some details in the NRO piece.