Jonathan Cohn spills the beans on Barack Obama’s health care team:
Today the Obama transition office will announce its health care policy team. As expected, Tom Daschle will be leading it. According to sources closes to the transition, he’ll be joined by a set of analysts including Lauren Aronson, Mark Childress, Dora Hughes, and Jeanne Lambrew. Harvard economist David Cutler will be serving as a part-time, outside advisor, reprising a role he served during the campaign. Among the other outside advisers are Jonathan Blum, Rahul Rajkumar, Terrell McSweeny, and Jenny Backus. [...]
The team is heavy on people who know a thing or two about moving plans through Congress. Take Aronson. Her most recent job was in Rahm Emanuel’s office. There, she advised him on floor strategy; she also was a liason to other members and outside stakeholders. Before that, she worked for Chris Jennings, a former Clinton staffer who is one of the best known health care advisers in town. So, like Daschle’s appointment, the naming of this team suggests that Obama is serious about pursuing health care reform.
I think this barely counts as transition gossip, since it doesn’t even include titles. Meanwhile, Jeanne Lambrew is a CAP Senior Fellow further reenforcing the point that each and every person working here is now incredibly important and influential. If you’re interested in the question of how and/or why the incoming administration will push for health care reform despite the economic crisis, you should read her testimony on “Health Policy and the Economic Crisis” which I imagine is a subject she’ll have occasion to revisit.