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Can the US afford to reform a failing system of health care in the midst of an economic crisis? Can it afford not to? We hear what's in the stimulus bill and how it could shape debate on questions of life-and-death. Also, former Senator Tom Daschle withdraws his nomination for Health and Human Services Secretary, and the case for private jet planes for busy corporate executives.

Banner image: Former Senator Thomas Daschle (D-SD) as he arrived yesterday for a closed door meeting with Members of the Senate Finance Committee. Photo: Mark Wilson/Getty Images

Making News Daschle and Killefer Both Withdraw Due to Unpaid Taxes 6 MIN, 19 SEC

Former Senator Tom Daschle stunned Washington today by withdrawing his nomination as Secretary of Health and Human Services. Just last night, after meeting with Senators of both political parties, Daschle acknowledged his “mistake,” but called it “completely inadvertent.” Also this morning, Nancy Killefer withdrew her nomination to become the White House's first Chief Performance Officer, for her failure to pay unemployment taxes for household help. Ken Vogel is senior reporter at Politico.com.

Kenneth Vogel, New York Times (@kenvogel)


Tom Daschle

Main Topic Healthcare Reform without Tom Daschle 33 MIN, 55 SEC

Tom Daschle was key to making good on the Obama campaign's major promise of better access to healthcare for all Americans. Today, the former Senate leader withdrew his nomination to avoid what he called “distraction,” apparently the flap over unpaid federal taxes. We hear more about the politics of the White House and Congress, and look at what this could mean for healthcare reform. If a single-payer system run by the government is off the table, what about extending Medicare or care for veterans?  Is that what Republicans call “nationalization?”  What about dealing with rising costs, especially for treatment that's not really needed?

Noam Levey, Los Angeles Times (@NoamLevey )
Paul Ginsburg, Brookings Institution / University of Southern California
Robert Laszewski, President, Health Policy and Strategy Associates
Shannon Brownlee, New America Foundation (@shannonbrownlee)


Shannon Brownlee

Reporter's Notebook Are Corporate Jets a Force for Good? 8 MIN, 47 SEC

Last year, Big Three automakers enraged Congress when they flew to a government bailout hearing in three separate jets. Today it's reported that former CEO Sandy Weill gave up use of the corporate jet after he and his family used it to vacation in Mexico just weeks after Citigroup received a hefty federal bailout. In spite of such abuses, William Garvey, editor in chief of Business and Commercial Aviation magazine and former New York Times reporter David Cay Johnston say the jets can be a force for good.

William Garvey, Editor in Chief, Business and Commercial Aviation
David Cay Johnston, Daily Beast / Investipedia / DC Report (@DavidCayJ)

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David Cay Johnston

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