Obama taps Daschle as new health secretary

November 19, 2008

U.S. President-elect Barack Obama selected Tom Daschle, a former senator, to be his health secretary.

U.S. President-elect Barack Obama selected Tom Daschle, a former senator, to be his health secretary.

Daschle served almost two decades in the Senate and was majority leader from 2001 to 2003 while Democrats controlled the chamber.

He has also been called a "high-profile pick" for the department of health and human services. The agency he will lead oversees programs such as Medicare, the federal health insurance plan for people over the age of 65, which is expected to see costs balloon as the U.S. population ages.

The department is likely to spearhead Obama's charge to expand health-care coverage to 47 million uninsured Americans, a key promise of his presidential campaign.