Late Breaking News
Sebelius Nominated as HHS Secretary
- Categorized in: March 2009 Issue
WASHINGTON—President Obama has nominated Kansas Governor Kathleen Sebelius as Secretary of Health and Human Services, following the withdrawal of former Senator Tom Daschle from consideration for the Cabinet post.
In announcing the nomination, Obama noted, “If we are going to help families, save businesses and improve the long-term economic health of our nation, we must realize that ﬁxing what’s wrong with our healthcare system is no longer just a moral imperative, but a ﬁscal imperative. Healthcare reform that reduces costs while expanding coverage is no longer just a dream we hope to achieve—it’s a necessity we have to achieve.”
“What is required, however, is a commitment to reform that focuses not on Democratic ideas or Republican ideas, but on ideas that work to rein in costs, expand access and improve the quality of healthcare for the American people,” he added.
In introducing his nominee, Obama said, “Kathleen Sebelius has a remarkable intellect, unquestioned integrity and the kind of pragmatic wisdom you’ll tend to ﬁnd in a Kansan. I know she will bring some much-needed grace and good humor to Washington.”
The Governor of Kansas since 2003, Secretary-designate Sebelius was the ﬁrst daughter of a Governor to be elected to the same position. Prior to her election, she served as Kansas Insurance Commissioner from 1994 to 2002.
“I’ve worked on healthcare issues for more than two decades, as a legislator, as an insurance commissioner and as Governor of the great state of Kansas,” Sebelius said at a press conference announcing her nomination. “Mr. President, I share your passion and personal commitment to healthcare reform. I share your belief that we can’t ﬁx the economy without ﬁxing healthcare. The work won’t be easy, but bringing about real change rarely is.”
“This isn’t a partisan challenge,” she added, “it’s an American challenge, and one that we can’t afford to ignore.”
If conﬁrmed, she will be responsible for guiding the majority of the nation’s healthcare and research agencies with a total budget of more than $700 billion in FY 2009.