December 11, 2008

Whitehouse Applauds Daschle, Lambrew Nominations to Health Posts

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), the author of legislation to improve health care quality through the implementation of a national health information technology system, today applauded President-Elect Obama’s selection of former Senator Tom Daschle to serve as Secretary of Health and Human Services and Director of the new White House Office on Health Care Reform, and of Dr. Jeanne Lambrew as Deputy Director of the White House Office of Health Reform.

“We are facing $2.3 trillion in annual health care costs and a looming $34 trillion unfunded Medicare liability. Tens of millions of Americans are uninsured. A hundred thousand Americans die each year due to unnecessary medical errors, and our health care outcomes are among the worst in the developed world. Reform of our broken health care system is the signal challenge facing our families, our economy, and our government, and Senator Daschle and Dr. Lambrew will bring distinguished, thoughtful leadership to this enormous task.

“Every American deserves health care he or she can afford. But Senator Daschle knows we need to do more than that – we need basic, systemic reform that will revolutionize the way health care is delivered in this country. He has already brought forward ideas, like the creation of a Federal Health Board, that have contributed substantively to the health care reform debate, and that I will hope he will pursue further at HHS. His nomination, and President-Elect Obama’s creation of a new White House Office of Health Reform, emphasizes his serious commitment to solving this problem.

“I look forward to working with Senator Daschle, with the Obama Administration, and with my colleagues in Congress to build a national health IT infrastructure, foster quality improvements, and reform the way we pay for care.”

Whitehouse is a recipient of a 2008 American Medical Informatics Association (AMIA) Leadership Award and a 2008 Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) Advocacy Award for Federal Leadership. He has addressed gatherings sponsored by the Brookings Institute, the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS), the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA), and the Capitol Hill Steering Committee on Telehealth and Healthcare Informatics.


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