March 2nd, 2011
12:56 PM ET
WASHINGTON (CNN) – As the White House reorganization continues, the Office of Health Reform has dissolved and health policy will now be overseen by Melody Barnes, the White House’s Director of the Domestic Policy Council, an administration official confirms to CNN. The Office of Energy and Climate Change Policy once headed by Carol Browner will also be folded into Barnes’s portfolio according to a second administration official.
Nancy-Ann DeParle, who led the push for the passage of health care reform legislation as Director of the Office of Health Reform, was tapped earlier this year to become Deputy White House Chief of Staff for Policy. DeParle will still play an “active” role in health care policy issues according to one of the officials.
The changes, part of an on-going larger reorganization of White House operations, come as Republicans on Capitol Hill have sought to block funding for various heads of policy, or ‘czars’ in the White House.
As a part of the revamp, Jeanne Lambrew will move from her role at the Department of Health and Human Services to a new role as Deputy Assistant to the President for Health Policy. Liz Fowler, an official in the HHS office of Consumer Information and Oversight, and former chief counsel for the Senate Finance Committee, has been named Special Assistant to the President for Health Care and Economic Policy. She will be based at the National Economic Council.
Heather Zichal, a deputy to Carol Browner, will lead energy and climate change policy development under the new structure at the Domestic Policy Council. She will retain her title of Deputy Assistant to the President for Energy and Climate Change Policy.
Browner, a former EPA administrator, who played a large role in the administration’s response to the BP oil spill last year in the Gulf, announced earlier this year that she will soon leave the administration. While it is unclear when Browner’s last day will be, her staff, headed by Zichal, will be based at the Domestic Policy Council.