March 02, 2009 | | Comments 0
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Sebelius chosen to replace Daschle as HHS secretary

For those anxiously awaiting President Obama’s second nomination for Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS), the wait is over. The governor of Kansas, Kathleen Sebelius, democrat, is the president’s next choice for the position. Sebelius, who I mentioned in this posting on the Patient Safety Monitor blog as a possible candidate as secretary of HHS, has a track record of working closely with health insurers in her home state. In fact, prior to working as the governor, Sebelius served as Kansas’ state insurance commissioner. Her nomination has received praise from both republicans and democrats alike. Unlike Obama’s first nomination for HHS secretary, Tom Daschle, Sebelius will not serve as both HHS secretary and “healthcare czar,” a position that will specifically focus on reforming healthcare.

Should Sebelius be confirmed, she will have a lot on her plate as soon as she starts. A commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration has yet to be named, mostly because of the delay in confirming an HHS secretary. Known for her pro-abortion and stance and bipartisan policies, Sebelius successfully blocked the sale of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Kansas to Anthem Inc. because she said it would have raised insurance premiums for residents of the state.

You can read more about Sebelius in these articles from the Wichita Tribune and New York Times.

Do you have any initial thoughts about President Obama’s choice?

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Filed Under: National News

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Heather Comak About the Author: Heather Comak is the Assistant Director of the Association for Healthcare Accreditation Professionals and a Managing Editor at HCPro, Inc., where she is the editor of the monthly publication Briefings on Patient Safety. Contact Heather by e-mailing her at hcomak@hcpro.com.

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