It looks like health care reform will have to get along without the expertise and odd red framed glasses of Tom Daschle. But not paying one’s taxes and getting millions of dollars from the industry one is tasked to reform does suggest just a tiny hint of a conflict of interest. As one health care authority noted:
Manufacturers of both drugs and medical devices often pay for conferences and shower doctors with gifts as they try to expand the market for their products.
Some studies have suggested that physicians are too quick to employ expensive treatments and procedures on patients who don’t stand to benefit from them.
This quote comes from a book called Critical: What We Can Do about the Health-care Crisis by none other than Tom Daschle.
Some people are crediting Daschle with the integrity to bow out as health and human services secretary-designee under the circumstances. I don’t credit Mr. Daschle. He decided to pay his taxes and withdraw from an ethically compromised cabinet appointment only after the media circulated the stories. And this is after impugning the professional integrity of physicians in his book and after accepting millions of dollars himself from the health care industry.
Goodbye, Tom. And good riddance.