(WASHINGTON) – The American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE), the nation’s largest federal employee union, congratulates former Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle on his nomination to become the nation’s 21st secretary of health and human services. Hearings begin today on Daschle’s nomination.
“President Obama’s selection of Daschle proves he is committed to making health care reform one of the top priorities of his administration,” AFGE National President John Gage said. “Senator Daschle will lead the administration’s health care reform push and oversee the new White House Office of Health Reform. That’s a tremendous and sobering task. We know he has the experience, knowledge and tenacity to get the job done.”
More than eight million active and retired government employees and their dependents are covered by the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program, making it the largest employer-sponsored health insurance plan in the nation. “Average premiums have increased by more than 60 percent in the past seven years, a rate much faster than the average growth rate of national health care costs. Plan participants also have to pay more out-of-pocket costs and several popular plans have been terminated,” added Gage. “AFGE is ready to work closely with Senator Daschle to expand health coverage and make health care affordable for all Americans.”