Wyden meets with Daschle on health care

Over at his blog, Jeff Mapes reveals that Senator Ron Wyden had breakfast Thursday with Tom Daschle - former Senate Majority Leader and rumored pick for HHS Secretary - to discuss his Healthy Americans Act.

Wyden didn't tell me much about Daschle's end of their conversation. But despite the increased Democratic numbers in the Senate, Wyden said it's clear to everyone that it is going to take a bipartisan agreement to get health-care reform accomplished. And a bipartisan group - with a plan already written as a starting point - is something the Oregon senator brings to the breakfast table.

In addition, Wyden's bipartisan group of 15 Senators sent a letter to President-elect Obama about their health care plan. Read the letter here (pdf).

The 15 Senators are Democrats Ron Wyden (OR), Maria Cantwell (WA), Tom Carper (DE), Daniel Inouye (HI), Mary Landrieu (LA), Bill Nelson (FL), and Debbie Stabenow (MI); Republicans Bob Bennett (UT), Lamar Alexander (TN), Norm Coleman (MN), Arlen Specter (PA), Mike Crapo (ID), Judd Gregg (NH), and Bob Corker (TN); and independent Joe Lieberman (CT).

  • Justagirl (unverified)

    See this from dailykos this morning:

    GOP terrified of Daschle - GOP thinks that universal healthcare will be a political death knell for the Republican party.

    They know better than the left---I guess because they've been furiously playing the shell game for so many years---how quickly Americans will grow used to the security and confidence of guaranteed health care coverage. And the man who can make that happen? As (conservative) U.S. News and World Report blogger James Pethothoukis said yesterday in a piece entitled "How Tom Daschle Might Kill Conservatism," ... More cynical still, showing how policy for the GOP is purely political rather than a desire to serve the public, is a quote from Michael Cannon of the Cato Institute stating that "blocking Obama's health plan is key to the GOP's survival." How tragic (though not surprising) that a major political party ties its future to the faint hope of denying the public of a basic right, a right that the vast majority of the people want now. Imagine: the party's survival depends on thwarting the public will! We've known this all along, but it's a shock to hear it stated so boldly.


    How did the GOP become such a collection of sick bastards?

  • Bill Bodden (unverified)

    GOP terrified of Daschle

    And progressives should be skeptical of Daschle. This is from the Center for Responsive Politics:

    "Health Sector Put $1.5 Million into Daschle's Senate Career

    By selecting former Senate Minority Leader Tom Daschle (D-S.D.) to head the Health and Human Services Department, Barack Obama is tapping the expertise of a man whose political campaigns in the public sector and salary in the private sector have been paid, in part, by the health care industry. ยป

    Lobbying clients of Daschle's employer, Alston & Bird Lobbying clients of Daschle's wife, Linda"

    You can get more at the Center's web site but you may have problems today (Nov. 22) because the web site is undergoing maintenance.

  • Harry Kershner (unverified)

    "Daschle's solution lies in the Federal Reserve Board...A Fed-like health board would offer a public framework within which a private health-care system can operate more effectively and efficiently..." (http://us.macmillan.com/critical)

    "Can Sen. Daschle's Federal Health Board do for the crisis in health care what the Federal Reserve Board has done for the nation's financial crisis?" (Dr. Don McCanne, http://two.pairlist.net/mailman/listinfo/quote-of-the-day)

  • (Show?)

    Justagirl: How did the GOP become such a collection of sick bastards?

    Clearly, it's because they don't have adequate health care.


  • LT (unverified)

    Bill, as someone who remembers when Congressman Daschle was such an advocate for Vietnam veterans over 20 years ago (I think the congressional hearing on the subject in Portland was 1985), I wouldn't put too much faith in "Don't trust the person who got X contributions from Y group".

    Daschle was an early and vocal supporter of Obama and I am thrilled he is in the cabinet.

  • Zachary Vishanoff (unverified)

    If Wyden was serious about fixing health care he would divert some of the money he is now wasting on his 3.7 billion dollar academic pork barrel nanotechnology research bill that has been earmarked for U.S. universities.

  • Fireslayer (unverified)

    Does Wyden't Healthy Americans Act include an option for all to buy into Medicare or, preferably, an improved version?

    Edwards and later Clinton plans contained this provision in the campaign.

    Baucus plan apparently does not, although he has publicly stated that his plan is the most maleable and that it will evolve depending upon how needs are met.

    Kennedy has been accused of offering up the discredited Mass plan, but this story originated in the Moonie Wash Times.

    <h2>Daschle has hired people off of Edwards and Hillary's health team. Could this be a good sign?</h2>
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