KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

John Podesta Reportedly Ready To Join White House Team

A former aide to President Bill Clinton is expected to help President Barack Obama as he seeks to recover public support on the health law.

The New York Times: Ex-Clinton Aide Expected To Join Obama
President Obama, after a rocky year that leaves him at the lowest ebb of his presidency, is bringing into his White House circle the longtime Democratic strategist John D. Podesta, a former chief of staff for President Bill Clinton. … Word that Mr. Podesta would for the first time join Mr. Obama’s official staff, from people familiar with the discussions, comes as the president is seeking to recover public support and credibility after the flawed introduction in October of the insurance marketplaces that are a key part of his signature Affordable Care Act. This week he brought back his former chief congressional lobbyist, Phil Schiliro, who had moved to New Mexico, to help on the health care issues (Calmes, 12/9).

Politico: Podesta To Advise Obama
Podesta will return to the White House as Obama struggles to regain his credibility after the troubled rollout of The president has already recalled Phil Schiliro, a former legislative affairs director, to serve as the White House’s point person on Obamacare policy. Podesta is viewed as a hand so trusted and widely perceived as an honest broker in Democratic circles that he would have run the presidential transition of either Barack Obama or Hillary Clinton in 2008 (Budoff Brown, 12/9).

Meanwhile, another Obama administration nominee will be questioned by a Senate panel about the health law.

The Associated Press/Washington Post: IRS Nominee To Face Questions On Health Law
President Barack Obama’s choice to head the Internal Revenue Service goes before a Senate committee Tuesday to face tough questions about the agency’s targeting of tea party groups and its ability to administer parts of the president’s health law. Obama nominated John Koskinen, a retired corporate and government official with experience managing numerous organizations in crisis, to take over the IRS in August. If confirmed by the Senate, the 74-year-old turnaround specialist would sign on to a five-year term, which would last beyond Obama’s stay in office (12/10).

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