Sunday, February 15, 2009

CoS, Rahm Emanuel's brother for WH Health Care Policy Advisor

Remember, this spot was the White House created spot that Tom Daschle was going to assume along with running HHS. It is apparent that both of these jobs will be run by different people, and for my two cents it is good to have a doctor in this policy role.

While the Obama White House is searching for a replacement for health czar Tom Daschle, policy work on health care reform--a priority for the administration--Is ongoing with one key advisor especially well connected.

The brother of White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel, Dr. Ezekiel J. Emanuel, a noted bioethicist, is advising the Obama administration on health care reform.

Dr. Emanuel is the Chair of the Department of Bioethics at The Clinical Center of the National Institutes of Health and a breast oncologist.

Dr. Emanuel is a special advisor to the director of the White House Office of Management and Budget for health policy. He told me he is "working on (the) health care reform effort." He is "detailed" to the OMB spot and is still officially an employee of the NIH.

Until last August, Dr. Emanuel was commuting between his Chicago home in West Rogers Park and Washington. He moved to Washington last August after his youngest daughter graduated from Northside College Prep at Bryn Mawr and Kedzie.

One of three wildly successful Emanuel brothers (Ari is a Hollywood superagent) Dr. Emanuel also advised the Clinton White House on health care issues. He is a graduate of Amherst College, receiving his masters of science from Oxford University in Biochemistry. His M.D. is from Harvard Medical School. He holds a Ph.D. in political philosophy from Harvard University. In addition, in 1987-88, he was a fellow in the Program in Ethics and the Professions at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard.

The search is still on for replacement at Health and Human Services. The Obama Administration created this high profile position in the White House for policy, which Daschle was qualified for since he understood the underpinning of legislation in congress. Again, I am glad that this position appears to be set to have a physician in the role, the only thing I worry about is that whomever is appointed to HHS must understand legislation, how it works on the Hill and can get legislation pushed through for healthcare.

We will see.


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