I must admit, I don’t know much about Tom Dacschle, except what I’ve heard in passing. When my husband said he’d been offered the HHS post I said, “Oh, Dacschle. What’s his background outside of politics? Is he a scientist? No? Is he a doctor? No? Well, does he… play one on TV?” I understand he’s pushed for better healthcare access for the poor, which is a step in the right direction. I’m especially concerned about healthcare access for poor children.
Personally, I’d like to see more basic health services in public schools, especially in poor neighborhoods. Sometimes the school nurse literally saves lives - she may be the kids only resource for healthcare. My son’s elementary school has a doctor that comes in and does free vaccinations, etc. They even have a dental hygienist that does cleanings in the nurses office, by appointment, for any kids poor enough to receive free lunches. But can you believe some school districts cut the nurse out of the budget completely, replacing her with a first aid kit in the principals office? Other school districts reduce the nurse to two or three days a week. It’s a horrible shame.
Also, I would be most pleased if Dacschle would be able to “undo” a lot of this recent damage regarding access to birth control, especially to rape victims. And this nonsense the Bush administration was trying to pass, that reclassified birth control pills and IUDs as abortion. Would Dacschle have any control over this in his new position? (I really take issue with people saying that when I take the pill, I kill an infant every 28 days. Who knew I was a serial killer? I thought I was more of a soccer mom.)