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Daschle to face tough questions on competition in health insurance

New York Times, January 8, 2009

Former Sen. Tom Daschle will be the first of President-elect Barack Obama's Cabinet choices to undergo a hearing. Daschle, Obama's pick as the next health and human services secretary, is to appear before the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee. Lawmakers will most likely question him about one of the most contentious aspects of President-elect Barack Obama's domestic agenda: his call for a new public health insurance plan to compete with private insurers. Daschle supports the concept of "a government-run insurance program modeled after Medicare." It would, he says, give consumers, especially the uninsured, an alternative to commercial insurance.