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HHS vacancy stalls health agenda, advocates say

Washington Post, February 17, 2009

When Thomas A. Daschle, embroiled in controversy over failing to pay more than $100,000 in back taxes, stepped down as director of the White House Office on Health Reform and withdrew his nomination to be secretary of health and human services, it left a hole in President Obama's leadership team. The vacancy is one that healthcare advocates say has stalled what they hoped would be speedy action on high-priority measures. Administration advisers still are not talking publicly about who might replace Daschle or when a nomination might be made.