In an essay she wrote for the Center for American Progress, a think tank that appears to provide the intellectual blueprint for much of Obama's agenda, Lambrew said, "An immediate step for the new president is to lift constraints on the expansion of state health insurance programs imposed by a set of administrative policies established by President Bush. Despite a growing uninsured population, the Bush administration implemented a number of executive-branch policies that limit states' ability to expand Medicaid and the State Children's Health Insurance Program. ... The new HHS secretary should immediately roll back or amend these policies."
Electronic Health Records
In an effort to curb medical errors and save time and money, Obama has also advocated requiring a standard for electronic health records. The current administration under Leavitt has made a significant push towards transitioning from paper to electronic records, navigating concerns about patient privacy along the way. It has advocated for a standardized system, free-of-charge, and it's expected the next administration will continue that effort.
Number of HHS Positions for Political Appointees
Of the 64,750 employees with the Department of Health and Human Services, 140 are political appointees. At the FDA, there are just three political positions: commissioner, head of legal affairs, and senior advisor in chief of staff's office.
About a dozen of HHS' political positions require Senate confirmation, including Daschle's. Those requiring Senate confirmation also include the heads of the NIH, CMS, FDA, Administration on Aging and on Children and Families, and Indian Health Service, and the surgeon general.
ABC News' Z. Byron Wolf and Jake Tapper contributed to this report.