According to Max Baucus’ statement on Sen. Daschle’s confirmation to be the next HHS Secretary, it’s apparent that keeping corruption out of government takes a back seat to advancing his agenda. Here’s a portion of Sen. Baucus’ statement:

“The ability to advance meaningful health reform is my top priority in confirming a Secretary of Health and Human Services, and I remain convinced that Senator Daschle would be an invaluable and expert partner in this effort,” said the Montana senator in a statement. “I am eager to move forward together.”

What’s a little corruption in government, especially when the corrupt politician is a close friend? It’s apparent that Democrats don’t care about corruption. That’s what their actions tell us. If you don’t believe me, look at all the corruption in this administration and amongst Pelosi’s chief lieutenants

It’s especially insulting that they think that someone from within their inside-the-Beltway club is the only person in the world who can fix our problems. They’re thinking that we’re a bunch of simpletons who can’t fix anything if our life depended on it but we’re the soldiers that comprise an Army of Davids.

Sen. Baucus stating that Sen. Daschle is the key to “meaningful health reform” is proof that Washington hasn’t noticed that the private sector started working on months ago. During last fall’s candidate debates for the Minnesota legislature, Josh Behling talked frequently and forcefully about the changes he helped institute in Century Granite’s benefit packages. Josh especially touted HSAs, which would go a long ways in turning people into health care shoppers instead of health care consumers.

Rep. Steve Gottwalt talked extensively about other private sector-initiated reforms, especially in the context that companies had a financial interest in reforming health care, meaning that the status quo is inefficient and costly. Given companies’ incentive to drag help insurance into the 21st century, doesn’t anyone think that the best thing that government can do to speed health insurance reform would be to eliminate the federal and state mandates on insurers while helping promote competition?

Here in Minnesota, there are three health insurers: Blue Cross, Health Partners and United Health. They’re the only insurers licensed to sell insurance in the state. What’s the likelihood that Sen. Daschle will break their monopolistic hold in Minnesota, especially when one of the companies was run by the wife of a prominent Democratic legislator? Think in terms of no chance or slimmer.

Different parts of government can assist in initially putting data bases together that rate the clinics and hospitals in terms of cost for various procedures or which clinics and hospitals provide the highest quality in terms of the various surgeries or treatments and such.

Where having a bureaucrat like Sen. Daschle would cost us in efficiency is his thinking inside the box and within the context of him being a lifetime bureaucrat. Bureaucrats have a control fetish. If something doesn’t fit within their flowcharts, the typical bureaucrat simply rejects the idea. They simply can’t resist trying to control it.

In other words, Daschle represents the worst of all worlds. He’s corrupt and he’s a control freak. Personally, I’d rather entrust an Army of Davids to figure out the best solutions that increase efficiencies while giving working families a variety of appealing options.

That’s why Sen. Daschle isn’t the great savior his Democratic colleagues are making him out to being. He’s just another bureaucrat who’s part of the club. for more on that, check out John Hinderaker’s post on Sen. Daschle:

Tom Daschle is a man of little ability who, as far as history records, has never had a creative or original idea about any public policy issue. Nevertheless, through a combination of assiduous delivery of pork to his constituents, slavish devotion to the Democratic Party and ethical flexibility, he rose almost to the top of the heap in Washington, DC. In my view, Daschle has been a borderline crook through most if not all of his Senate career. But that didn’t stop the Democrats from electing him their leader in the Senate, nor did it deter a highly lucrative career after John Thune defeated him in 2004.

Barack Obama’s nomination of Daschle to head the Department of Health and Human Services has brought to light one aspect of the seamy underside of life in Washington. After his defeat, Daschle went to work for Alston & Bird, a law firm that also does lobbying. Daschle isn’t a lawyer, so he can only have been working on the lobbying side of the shop, yet he has never registered as a lobbyist. Still, his connections apparently were valuable enough that Alston & Bird paid him $2.1 over the past two years.

In other words, he’s highly paid because he’s influential, not because he’s a particularly astute policy person. Put differently, he’s ethically challenged and well connected.

That alone is justification for rejecting him.

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Cross-posted at California Conservative

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