Former Maine Gov. John Baldacci has been appointed to a high-profile position overseeing health care reform efforts within the Department of Defense.
Sources close to the former governor said Tuesday that Baldacci, 56, is already on the job as Director of Military Health Reform in the office of Dr. Clifford L. Stanley, under secretary of defense for Personnel and Readiness.
Baldacci, a Bangor native, could not be reached for comment Tuesday evening, and after-hours calls to the Pentagon were not immediately returned. But in an e-mail statement Tuesday evening, Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, said she is pleased by Baldacci’s appointment.
“I am delighted that John has been appointed to serve in the Defense Department, where he will be able to provide valuable insight and a Maine perspective as he oversees health care policies for our military personnel,” Collins said. “We need creative ideas to help address the rising cost of health care which impact the Defense Department, and I know John will bring a wealth of knowledge to the job. I look forward to continuing to work with him in my role as a member of both the Senate Armed Services Committee and the Defense Appropriations Subcommittee.”
Baldacci, a Democrat, served two terms as Maine’s governor and has a strong record in health care reform, including signing into law the Dirigo Health Reform Act of 2003. Before being elected governor in 2002, Baldacci served four terms in Congress representing Maine’s 2nd Congressional District.