Not in Kansas Anymore: A Look at Obama's Sebelius Pick
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The Obama administration unveiled two major nominations on Monday: Kansas Gov. Kathleen Sebelius for Secretary of Health and Human Services and Nancy-Ann DeParle for health czar. The czar is responsible for shepherding healthcare reform legislation through Congress and the Secretary will be responsible for implementing the plan.
Correlation doesnâ€™t necessarily imply causation, but weâ€™d like to remind everyone that In These Times floated Sebeliusâ€™ name for HHS in September of 2008; Ramon Castellblanch wrote:
Three major obstacles face the next secretary. One, tens of millions of Americans lack health insurance. Two, any attempt to deal with this crisis will result in the private insurance industryâ€”and its lobbyistsâ€”swooping in to turn policy changes into a windfall for itself. And three, for eight years, the department has been crippled by low morale and staff departures caused by Bush administration mismanagement. The next secretary must have the ability to help undo this damage.
Castellblanch argued at the time that Sebelius was the right person for the job because of her executive experience as governor, her knowledge of the insurance industry, and her strong progressive values.