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Science orgs. praise HHS pick

Scientific trade groups organizations seem quite pleased with the appointment of former Senator linkurl:Tom Daschle;http://www.the-scientist.com/blog/display/55206/ to the position of Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services. But Daschle is not without potential conflicts of interest that might limit his participation in key decisions at the agency. "It's a perfect appointment in that Tom knows the Department inside and out," said linkurl:John Porter,;http://www.the-scientist.co

By | November 20, 2008

Scientific trade groups organizations seem quite pleased with the appointment of former Senator linkurl:Tom Daschle;http://www.the-scientist.com/blog/display/55206/ to the position of Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services. But Daschle is not without potential conflicts of interest that might limit his participation in key decisions at the agency. "It's a perfect appointment in that Tom knows the Department inside and out," said linkurl:John Porter,;http://www.the-scientist.com/article/display/54986/ former Illinois Congressman and chair of medical research advocacy group Research!America, in a statement. "His relationship with his former colleagues on the Hill is a very strong and positive one. I think he'll do an outstanding job as our new Secretary of HHS." The praise for linkurl:Daschle;http://www.the-scientist.com/article/display/22134/ doesn't stop there. "Senator Daschle brings to the position an impressive and deep background of health care policy expertise," said linkurl:Jim Greenwood,;http://www.the-scientist.com/blog/display/54441/ president and CEO of the Biotechnology Industry Organization, in a statement. "By nominating Senator Daschle, the President-elect has made a strong statement that health care will indeed be a top priority within his administration." As former Senate Majority Leader, Daschle is thought to have a firm grasp on how to move legislation through Congress, and he has a particular interest in health care reform. Daschle's post-Senate activities have included writing a book about health care policy reform entitled, linkurl:__Critical: What We Can Do About the Health Care Crisis__.;http://www.amazon.com/Critical-What-About-Health-Care-Crisis/dp/0312383010 linkurl:__The New York Times__;http://www.nytimes.com/2008/11/20/us/politics/20daschle.html?_r=1 reported today (Nov. 20), however, that Daschle would carry some baggage with him into his new post. Daschle has been a board member at the linkurl:Mayo Clinic;http://www.the-scientist.com/article/display/54967/ and has advised health care clients at a law and lobbying firm in Washington, DC, since leaving the Senate. The Mayo Clinic attracts many NIH grants, and Daschle's involvement with the clinic may test President-elect linkurl:Barack Obama's promise;http://obama.3cdn.net/46da22102410540990_w9rmvycct.pdf that "no political appointees in an linkurl:Obama administration;http://www.the-scientist.com/blog/display/55167/ will be permitted to work on regulations or contracts directly and substantially related to their prior employer for two years." Daschle's lobbying work and Mayo board membership may mean that he would need to recuse himself from key HHS decisions during his tenure as secretary. The burden of this conflict "will all depend on Obama's rules and what Daschle lobbied on," wrote linkurl:Merrill Goozner,;http://www.the-scientist.com/blog/display/54836/ director of the Integrity in Science program at The Center for Science in the Public Interest, in an E-mail to __The Scientist__. "If he has to recuse himself from a number of issues, it could limit his effectiveness. However, if ever there was a person who deserved a 'waiver' from conflict of interest rules because of his unique expertise, Tom Daschle is that person."
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Comments

Avatar of: anonymous poster

anonymous poster

Posts: 2

November 25, 2008

The only quoted groups praising this nomination are those groups that favor government-funded universal health care. Let's hear from the major scientific research organizations including Experimental Biology, Physiology, and the American Heart and American Cancer Societies before concluding that the scientific community "praises" this nomination.

November 28, 2008

I believe Daschle is an excellent pick. \nI hope that he gives up his Mayo Clinic Board membership.

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