HHS Secretary Nominee Promises Science-Based Policies

The man nominated to run the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) sent a welcome signal yesterday during his Senate confirmation hearings. Tom Daschle told the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, "I want to reinstate a science-driven environment. I want to take ideology and politics, as much as possible, out of the process and allow the scientists to do their jobs."

Under the Bush administration, HHS staff who oppose theologically and ideologically driven policies have been silenced, leading to programs that conform to a political agenda but fail to serve the public.

The Secular Coalition for America has repeatedly called on Congress and the Bush Administration to fund programs that are scientifically proven to work, and to zero-out funding for programs - notably abstinence-only sex education - that are proven to be ineffective. The Coalition hopes that prioritizing science will also lead to expanded stem cell research and the availability of contraceptives.

All Americans will benefit from a renewed commitment to evidence-based policy across all federal agencies, and the Secular Coalition will support the new president and his cabinet in their efforts to restore science to its rightful place in improving the health of our nation.

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