Big names on Obama's short list for HHS secretary

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Tom Daschle and Howard Dean are rumored to be possible choices for secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services in president-elect Barack Obama's administration.

Daschle, former Senate Majority Leader, and Dean, a medical doctor and chairman of the Democratic National Committee, would replace the current secretary, Michael Leavitt. Others reportedly in the running for the top job are Harold Varmus, former director of the National Institutes of Health, and Gov. Kathleen Sebelius (D-KS), who has a record of supporting significant healthcare reforms in her state, Bloomberg news service reported.

Rep. Rahm Emanuel (D-IL) on Thursday accepted the position of White House Chief of Staff. Other key White House staff and cabinet appointments, including health related posts, have not been disclosed.