Update: Daschle to lead Health and Human Services

Yesterday former Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle accepted President-elect Barack Obama’s offer to be Secretary of Health and Human Services. Daschle will be a voice of experience on the Obama team. He played a key role in the Clintons' unsuccessful healthcare reform efforts. However, as articulated in his book, "Critical: What We Can Do About the Health-Care Crisis," Daschle no longer supports a single-payer system as under the Clinton administration, but rather an increased role of the federal government in extending health care coverage to the uninsured and improving quality of care. Daschle’s book calls for a Federal Health Board that would create standards for federal health programs and serve as a model for private insurers. These standards would ensure that health care is both high-quality and cost-effective.

While no definitive action will likely be taken on health issues in Congress until the 111th Congress is sworn in, it is important that Members of Congress be made aware of the quality, cost-effective care provided by naturopathic doctors. It is a very good time to make an appointment with your Member at his or her home district office and talk about including naturopathic doctors in the public health system.

Particularly in the case of chronic diseases, naturopathic medicine provides an alternative to high-cost drugs and surgeries. Ask ask your Member to support H. Con. Res. 406, which calls for the inclusion of wellness programs in reforms to the health care system.