Tom Daschle

Opinion: An Open Health Diplomacy Hand Works Better Than a Fist
Investing in global health programs like PEPFAR is a win-win for all

Recent headlines have been filled with stories and images of parents being separated from their children by the U.S. government. This is not what our country represents.

In fact, 15 years ago, we enacted the President’s Emergency Plan For AIDS Relief, or PEPFAR, to do quite the opposite, and the program has gone on to save the lives of millions, keep families intact, and provide support for millions of orphans, vulnerable children and their caregivers. It represents the best of America, and we can be proud of the global legacy it has created.

Opinion: 3 Ways to Defeat Dysfunction on the Hill
Recent bipartisan moves offer hope for a return to traditional legislating

Four years ago this month, we joined with 27 other Americans to release recommendations to reform how our government works, improve the management of our elections, and promote more civic engagement.

At the time, the Commission on Political Reform, or CPR, was grappling with how to enable our institutions to better function in an era marked by hyperpartisanship. We did not think the tone and dysfunction in Washington could get worse — and yet it has.

Ensuring an Ongoing Return On Health Care Investment
Community health centers contribute significantly to taxpayer savings

There has been much discussion about what an Affordable Care Act replacement plan will include, and how it will influence the shape and focus of our health care system. As our friends and colleagues in Congress begin collaboratively looking for the best health care solutions for the American people, they should consider a health care network that works — community health centers.

Health care is complicated, and insurance is even more so. Moving from one system to another carries both enormous political and human risk. There is not only hardship for those who fall between the cracks, but adverse long-term consequences for our nation’s health.

A Surgeon General for the 21st Century | Commentary

Our health care system is undergoing profound changes in how we pay for and deliver care. Yet some of our most intractable health problems — such as obesity, diabetes, tobacco use and emerging diseases — require creative public health approaches as well as high-quality, efficient care. Addressing the health issues that matter to Americans will require bipartisan compromise guided by strong leadership from medical professionals.

Why the VA Should Look Toward Proven Health Care Solutions | Commentary

While it is not a secret that the Veteran’s Affairs hospital system has had inefficiencies for many years, the recent spotlight on veterans’ long wait times for basic medical attention has made headlines for good reason.

Crafty Messaging Doesn't Trump Good Policy | Commentary

Sometimes it’s hard to generate enough public attention to move good policy forward. There are plenty of examples of needed reforms that do not happen because they do not make good politics or capture public interest. However, these days the opposite is true too often. Lately, policymakers have turned away from good policy because of clever and dramatic messaging that grabbed the attention of the American people and made sound ideas suddenly seem unfair or untenable.

No surprise that the latest examples of this practice involve the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare. In 2010, Congress and President Barack Obama seized on the public’s attention to millions of uninsured Americans: people who had lost coverage because of pre-existing conditions or aged off their parents insurance, and those who paid much more in premiums because of their gender or age. Congress passed a historic law that created an improved insurance marketplace that ensures more and better health care coverage.

Daschle: Prevent Type 2 Diabetes, Cut Health Care Costs

In the midst of a daunting fiscal climate, the newly appointed Joint Committee on Deficit Reduction will spend this fall debating how to substantially cut federal spending during the next decade. And the escalating costs of health care in this country, particularly in the Medicare program, almost guarantee this super committee will be forced to consider policies that will affect the health care sector.

While reducing government expenditures and living within our means are necessary and important priorities, our laser focus on cutting and slashing programs can cause us to be shortsighted and make decisions that could cost us more in the long run by shifting costs rather than implementing real, sustained reform in the system. The 2010 health care law, for example, provides some real opportunities to invest in cost-saving measures that are proven to prevent chronic disease and can yield the long-term savings that our health care system needs.

Daschle: Comprehensive Health Care Reform Is Long Overdue in U.S.

When the president said, “Millions of our citizens do not now have a full measure of opportunity to achieve and enjoy good health. Millions do not now have protection or security against the economic effects of sickness. The time has arrived for action to help them attain that opportunity and that protection,— he was exactly right.

It wasn’t President Barack Obama who said these words, although he has said many things just like this. It was Harry Truman as he spoke to a joint session of Congress in 1945.

Take It From a Victim of ‘527’ Attacks: Let Them Be

This past autumn, special interest groups rushed to South Dakota to attack my record and question my values. Many of their advertisements were harshly negative in substance and tone, and they reflected little respect for fact or substance. At times like this, in anger and frustration, candidates may wish that Congress could and would outlaw such advertisements. After a season of swift boats, in South Dakota and elsewhere, that wish is powerful, and it is understandable. It is also misplaced.

Congress should resist the temptation now, as it considers regulation of 527 organizations, to impose restrictions on independent political speech and voter mobilization. And those who, like me, have long supported campaign finance reform should keep a wary eye on how those who do not really share our commitment would exploit it for their own partisan purposes. Campaign finance regulation should not become the new weapon in the ongoing effort to change the rules — many and different rules — to favor and entrench one party’s political interest