Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Rural health advocates mourn Daschle withdrawal

Tom Daschle's withdrawal of his nomination to be secretary of health and human services, and head Presudent Obama's health-care reform efforts, was bemoaned by rural health advocates who said he understood the health needs of rural areas because of his long tenure as a senator from South Dakota.

The president of the South Dakota Association of Healthcare Organizations told Dennis Gale of The Associated Press that Daschle has much expertise in rural health care and his leadership will be missed. Former Gov. Bill Janklow told The Daily Republic of Mitchell, "I like him. I'd love to live next door to him. I'd trust him with the key to my house. He's just a good human being."

Many commended Daschle's apology for failing to pay taxes on some employment benefits as evidence of his integrity and character. Democratic Sen. Tim Johnson said in a release that Daschle has a "long, distinguished career of public service and that he would have been a powerful voice for rural America and rural health care in the Cabinet job." Read more here.

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