"I have determined that it is in the public interest to grant the waiver given Mr. Lynn's qualifications for his position and the current national security situation," Director of the Office of Management of Budget Peter Orszag said in a statement at the time.
There are several other lobbyists also serving in the Obama administration, including Ron Kirk, U.S. Trade Representative; Cecilia Munoz, Director of Intergovernmental Affairs at the White House; and Jocelyn Frye, who is now director of policy and projects in the Office of the First Lady.
The president has made health care overhaul a central feature of his domestic policy, despite Republicans who say he needs to focus more on the economy.
As a candidate Obama promised he would pay for health care overhaul by reducing tax breaks for those who make more than $250,000 and keeping the estate tax. He has kept the first part of the bargain by letting Bush administration tax breaks expire, hence raising taxes on the wealthiest Americans. But where the taxes are concentrated will ultimately depend on which version of the health care bill Congress passes.
Obama also promised the creation of a health insurance exchange where uninsured Americans and business owners can shop for coverage. That plan is included in both the House and Senate versions.
But other promises on health care haven't gone quite as promised. For example, Obama campaigned against individual health insurance mandates, but both versions currently include that. His promise of a public option, a government-run insurance plan that would compete with private insurers, also died in the Senate bill and it is unclear whether it will be included at all in the final legislation.
Obama's plan to allow lower-cost drug imports into the United States was also defeated.
It remains to be seen what the final version looks like. But the president has said repeatedly that even though health care overhaul may not be everything he wanted, it is a start.
Much to the chagrin of many civil rights and Hispanic groups, immigration reform has been put on the back burner.
Obama promised as a candidate to provide a way for undocumented immigrants to become part of the U.S. system, but little or no movement has happened on that front.
In a February interview with Eddie "Piolín" Sotelo, the nation's most popular Spanish-language radio host, Mr. Obama said, "we're going to be convening leadership on this issue so that we can start getting that legislation drawn up over the next several months."
"We've got to have comprehensive immigration reform," he said. " Now, you know, we need to get started working on it now. It's going to take some time to move that forward, but I'm very committed to making it happen."
But by the middle of 2009, despite meetings with the Hispanic congressional caucus and others active on the issue, Obama conceded there was little progress.
"There is not by any means consensus across the table," the president told reporters in June.
Officials at the time said the president would like to see an immigration reform bill pass by the end of 2009 or early 2010, but between health care and the economy, there is little sign that will happen.