obama appoints nancy-ann deparle as health care czar

Yesterday, President Obama has announced former Clinton administration official Nancy-Ann DeParle as director of the White House Office on Health Reform, a key position in the administration's ambitious health care reform agenda: Obama taps Sebelius, DeParle for health posts.

DeParle is currently the managing director at CCMO Capital, a private-equity firm. She is also a member of the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission, a group that advises Congress on Medicare payment and policy issues.

She apparently has deep roots in the Washington bureaucracy, an intimate familiarity with health policy and respect on both sides of the political aisle -- not to mention degrees from Harvard Law School and Oxford University. In other words, she's highly qualified to help overhaul our nation's crappy health care system.

Some snags, however, have already seemed to come up. DeParle's business ties to companies that have a direct stake in the health care debate has immediately raised questions about a possible conflict-of-interest: Obama Taps Health Aide With Links to Industry.

Still, she has an impressive professional/academic background and personal story that's hard to deny. The daughter of Chinese immigrants who grew up in a small town in eastern Tennessee, DeParle was raised by a single mother who died of lung cancer when she was 17. More here: Nancy-Ann DeParle, Head of White House Office of Health Reform.

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