The Trail: A Daily Diary of Campaign 2008


Sebelius Accepts HHS Post

By Ceci Connolly
Kansas Gov. Kathleen Sebelius accepted President Obama's nomination to become Health and Human Services Secretary this afternoon, according to administration officials. Sebelius will replace former senator Thomas A. Daschle, who withdrew from consideration last month.

"This evening, the President asked Kansas Governor Kathleen Sebelius to serve as his Secretary of Health and Human Services, and she accepted," one administration official said. "The President will formally announce the nomination on Monday afternoon at the White House."

Several Democratic sources said, however, that it is less likely the moderate Democrat will be offered the job of director of a new White House Office of Health Reform, a post Daschle had negotiated for himself as a way to increase his influence in the new administration.

Sebelius, the 60-year-old daughter of a former Ohio governor, served as state Insurance Commissioner before winning the 2002 governor's race. She is halfway through a second term.

Her nomination comes just days before the White House is scheduled to convene a high-level summit on health reform. In his budget, Obama set asides $634 billion for a new health reform reserve fund.

Posted at 5:30 PM ET on Feb 28, 2009
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I always want a CHOICE for all women, whether the baby is "A Michael" or not.

My heart goes out to you and your family, toritto.

Posted by: kashabear | March 2, 2009 11:41 AM

Very moving, toritto. And wise.

Posted by: nodebris | March 2, 2009 1:01 AM

"From what President Obama has planned fiscally, he *MAY* prove to be the most *DESTRUCTIVE* President ever."

And he *MAY* prove to be the most *EXCEPTIONAL* president ever. Amazing what you can do with conditional verbs, isn't it?

Turning our attention from what's possible to what's probable, Obama will always get a few handicap points because of the trash heap that 43 left him. On the flip side, 43's apologists will have to explain how he took a booming economy and a U.S. at peace and respected, and left with a rapidly tanking economy, the market lower than the day he started, two unfinished wars, and American's reputation in shambles.

I think Bush left Obama a good deal of room to maneuver in the "bad president" race. But you're right, he *MAY* be the worst president ever. Or he *MAY NOT.*

Posted by: nodebris | March 2, 2009 12:40 AM

I am surprised that my post generated so many comments. My thanks to those expressing good wishes.
Let me try to clear up a couple of issues.
My wife and I loved our son Michael and we cried many a tear when he died. Michael was born a long time ago when there was for all practical purposes no help or assistance to a family such as ours. We were on our own.
We found a "school" for the handicapped in New England which basically cared for him several hours a day. Once a year we would arrange "respite" care for him while we took our other kids on a vacation. Once in our own neighborhood we were asked to leave a restaurant because other customers were "disturbed" by Michael's presence.
We received no financial assistance of any kind except for free diapers from Depends. Usually he was in hospital once or twice a year - more as he got older.
He was however profoundly developmentally disabled. He could not turn over if he was lying on his back Luckily for us he had a good swallow reflex and would eat soft food if fed.
I don't know how aware he was of anything other than pain. There was never any indication that he knew us, could see us or hear us. There was never a moment of recognition.
One day he simply died.
I know that everyone that came to his funeral thought that his passing was a blessing - both for him and for us, although we did not think so at the time.
Was he a "blessing" to us? Its easy to say yes if your not the parents. In a sense that he changed our lives and made us more human and humane, then the answer is yes. He certainly made my daughters much more sensitive to the needs of others.
Finally, my wife and I were not aware that Michael was going to have problems. Hers was a normal pregnancy.
Technology is much more advanced today.
IF YOU KNEW THAT A MICHAEL WAS COMING YOUR WAY.....and you were in for a lifetime of care giving.......WOULD YOU WANT A CHOICE??
After Michael was born, my wife became pregnant again. She thought about abortion. The doctors told her however that she was carrying a girl and that everything seemed fine. She had the baby and later another girl.
But she had a choice.......I would not withhold that choice from her nor any other woman. Make your own choice and answer to your own god yourself.

Posted by: toritto | March 1, 2009 2:45 PM

JPM2: You are not alone. I wish you and yours only the best of everything. Time is on your side. Who knows what will be available in 20 years.

I too am glad you and your spouse had a choice.

Posted by: toritto | March 1, 2009 2:38 PM

Only a fool would advocate for the abridgement of individual rights. Whether it be the right to have an abortion or the right to have access to health care for those who would substantively benefit from such care.

For those who are too fearful to advocate for their own individual rights we should have sympathy for these tormented souls.

Hopefully she will be as competent as I believe her predecessor would have been.

Posted by: Gator-ron | March 1, 2009 2:01 PM

We are encouraged by Sebelius - but she has her work cut out for her. It is time in the evolution of civil harmony to address the health care of all people. ..............

Posted by: glclark4750 | March 1, 2009 1:47 PM

Torito: My wife and I found out recently that one of our unborn twins has a serious heart condition that will make it impossible for him to survive on his own without multiple open heart surgeries before he is 4 years old, then he will need a heart transplant before age 20.

We were given several options by the doctors, we've decided to try to fight for his life.

I too, am glad we at least had the choice.

Posted by: JRM2 | March 1, 2009 1:05 PM


Didn't you get the memo either?

"No more lame psy ops."

We expect better. This is not statecraft.

Posted by: scrivener50 | March 1, 2009 12:58 PM

Cool AntiAbuse services:

Posted by: leonidnik | March 1, 2009 2:17 AM

Torrito: And isn't it ironic that these self-righteous fanatics who so fervently oppose abortion under almost any circumstance are some of the same people who are part of "The American Gestapo"...

...a federally-enabled "extrajudicial punishment network" that continues to terrorize and torture (YES -- with covert radiation weapons assault and terroristic "community gang stalking") innocent but unjustly "targeted" U.S. citizens...

...with the apparent intent of getting their "targets" declared mentally ill -- driving those who otherwise would be productive citizens into poverty and destitution. These programs are no doubt a root cause of the current economic crisis.


MS. SEBELIUS (HHS Staff, please forward):

There can be no national health care until the federal government stops TORTURING innocent but "targeted" citizens with microwave radiation weaponry in what is a horrific but silent "American Genocide."

Victims have asked the FBI/Justice Department to launch a civil rights investigation, because local police appear to countenance these covert, federally-enabled crimes against humanity.

Victims have been told by federal and local authorities that "there is nothing we see to investigate."




The ONGOING Bush/Cheney- initiated American social genocide via the "extrajudicial punishment network" :

• Silent, covert microwave radiation weapons assaults on innocent but "targeted" U.S. citizens;

• Terroristic vigilante community gang stalking, surreptitious home entry, police-tolerated vandalism;

• Secret federal "programs of personal financial destruction."



OR (if links are corrupted / disabled):

Posted by: scrivener50 | March 1, 2009 1:09 AM

Thanks Toritto.

Posted by: JohnQuimby | March 1, 2009 12:17 AM

Toritto, I was very moved by your narrative.

Posted by: mark_in_austin | February 28, 2009 10:46 PM

straightline: While many pro-lifers are not against abortion in every instance unfortunately many are. I believe Gov. Palin fits that mold for example.

It may also surprise you that many supporters of choice are not for choice in every instance.

Unfortunately the arguement is dominated by extremists on both sides. Ultimately each of us has to answer to our own God ourselves.

My wife had a choice and chose to have the baby...but she made the choice. I'm glad she had the option.

Posted by: toritto | February 28, 2009 9:18 PM

If you knew in advance that a Michael was coming into YOUR life.......would you at least want a choice??

Posted by: toritto | February 28, 2009 8:38 PM

Well torrito my friend, you have my sincere sympathy. It would surprise you to know that many pro-life people are not against abortion in every instance...some are but many are not. When the mothers life is in danger, when the child has no chance for a a productive or even a reasonably decent existence, rape, and incest etc.

But we are going too far. Encouraging abortion for reasons of poverty which may be valid in some 3rd world countries but not the U.S. Unfettered abortion as a method of birth control is the height of irresponsibility. Late term and partial birth abortions are barbaric even if they just have to happen for real non-birth control reasons.

With the incredible array of birth control methods available and the irresponsibility of young people and their parents. Where has personal responsibility gone?? With organization that can take your child for an abortion... even across state lines with out your knowledge or permission.

Well all I can say is we are going too far with this. Way to far and I believe ther wil be hell to pay.

Posted by: Straightline | February 28, 2009 9:02 PM

straightline: Been there.

My wife and I had a profoundly retarded son - he never spoke a word or walked - he never sat up - he never looked at me - for all I knew he was deaf and blind as well.
Every meal he ever ate we fed him. Every diaper he ever wore we changed him. Every foot he ever moved from where he was lying we carried him. Every time he went to bed we carried him upstairs. Every morning we carried him downstairs.
We became a test marketing project for Depends adult diapers - we got 'em free and had to let the manufacturer know what we thought of them.
He lived to be ten years old. We did nothing but worry about what was going to happen to him. Then one day he simply woke up and died.
My wife gave up the best ten years of her life caring for Michael. We got no help from any government agency except our local school for handicapped kids. No medicare ; no medicaid; no state assistance. You see I "made too much money" - what a joke that was.
Michael is gone now. So is my wife. She never went to church. She was not a believer. If there is a God in his heaven then she is sitting under a massive oak watching her perfect 10 year old son play with his 12 year old brother (yes - we lost two boys) in the green grass under a sunny sky with a cool breeze moving through his hair mop - "Mommy look at me!! Look at my kite!!" and she will wave and smile.
There was no Catholic priest at her funeral - a local female Methodist minister who knew my wife, a woman who never went to church, as woman who lived Christian values in her daily life , spoke at her funeral. I will not forget her kindness. She spoke without being asked of how this woman made a lunch hour appointment for an abortion and changed her own mind at the last minute and went on to have two fine daughters. My wife was glad she had a choice.
Talk is cheap. It’s a lot easier talk about having a kid like Mike than to be the parents. Too many of you fine religious folk feel so good about yourselves for being “pro-life”, then you smile and go on to your next “Fellowship” meeting or casserole supper.
No one should have to bear a Michael at age 30 if they don’t want to.......that’s choice.

Those who advocate the opposite should be prepared to urge society to provide care for that child for its entire life, even if you have to raise taxes. It’s the cost of being pro-life. Think of that the next time you see two old people pushing an adult retarded child in a wheel chair in the mall.

If you knew in advance that a Michael was coming into YOUR life.......would you at least want a choice??

Posted by: toritto | February 28, 2009 8:38 PM

I am particularly pleased at the overwhelming sense of helplessness the GOP office holders and their conservative supporters across the country are feeling at not being able to stop progressive policies of all kinds now becoming reality. This is exactly how those of us on the left felt as we watched in total powerlessness at Bush and the GOP Congress polcies such as taking the country to war in Iraq, shoveling tax cuts to the super-rich, and protecting the big drug companies from having to sell their products to the Federal Government at reduced prices due to the volume of its purchasing. The wheel has turned and the GOP will now have to sit there and seethe as the policies abroad and at home are now shaped by liberals, the very people they despise. They have nobody to blame but themselves for this, as they had a take no prisoners-our way or the highway attitude for such a long time and poisoning the well of collegiality.

After rebuilding our infrastructure, implementing universal healthcare, revitalizing education and moving us toward energy independence Obama will win a crushing victory in 2012.

Enjoy the next 8 years.....:-)

Posted by: toritto | February 28, 2009 8:07 PM

Hey straightline.

Let's talk about Octomom.....

She likes large families

She believes life begins at conception.

She implanted all fertilized 8 embryos because she believed they were "lives".

She would not consent to reducing the number of embryos once implanted.

How come the pro-life movement doesn't have her mug up on posters as the ideal woman??


Posted by: toritto | February 28, 2009 7:07 PM
Your full of crap. How dare you associate what I said with "octomom" She is a an abberation and a sick woman.

From your post it sounds like you hate large families though... difference is is your ilk who started emplanting embryo's in the first place.

That the best you can do defending baby murder??

Posted by: Straightline | February 28, 2009 7:59 PM

What should I say? Hail to the chief? I wonder if Obama knows that lack of employment also applies to jobs in health care. Job cuts have effected nurses and aides as well as a few doctors here and there. After Obama gave his speech last Tuesday on his stimulus plans and Universal health care stocks plummeted in health care. People don't realize that investors usually work for that company be it pharmaceutical or surgical equipment. These workers fear that their jobs and salaries will be gravely effected. I wonder if his new appointee realizes this and will note that he must address the fear of health care workers in regards to Universal health care. Who will pay for their benefits? How can they afford to keep their homes? Address that.

Posted by: librajoy54 | February 28, 2009 7:42 PM

Don't understand why Presidents ignore physicians. For example, those from pestigious Universities who have spent decades studying the system and advocating for patients. Physicians for a National Health Program (PNHP)are a case in point. Evidently insurance companies will again continue to rule the fate of sick people under the power of this President. A grave disappointment.

Posted by: whatever3 | February 28, 2009 7:40 PM

Another Bilderberger in the mix.
Good luck Obambi-
You are moving too fast and the American PEOPLE are getting pissed.
And the blood will be on your hands.
Wake up- America!

Posted by: CoolPillow | February 28, 2009 7:18 PM

It's been reported that Sebelius has had to pay taxes that she did not pay. It was merely a mistake though. Yeah we go again...

Posted by: charko825 | February 28, 2009 7:12 PM

PLEASE, PLEASE TAKE HER AWAY FROM THE STATE OF KANSAS!!!! Now with any luck Kansas can distance itself from being coined "The Abortion Capital of the World"! Her departure is our gain and will fit right into Barry's administration and its anti-life stand. Maybe she'll find a spot for her buddy, Tiller the Baby Killer - Surgeon General?? After all, he's been to the governor's mansion for dinner. Lets see, not even 100 days into the new administration and Barry keeps on keeping on!

Posted by: zekeman | February 28, 2009 7:10 PM

A new "worst president ever"!

Posted by: mgd1 | February 28, 2009 6:03 PM


You are the first one I've seen post that thought but ..... seriously, I've given it thought too.

Many awarded that moniker to Bush 43.

History can not be written for at least 100 years. The events of WW II are still unfolding.

A very, very premature assessment of Bush by "experts" ranks him 36 of 43 Presidents.

From what President Obama has planned fiscally, he *MAY* prove to be the most *DESTRUCTIVE* President ever.

Posted by: furtdw | February 28, 2009 7:07 PM

Hey straightline.

Let's talk about Octomom.....

She likes large families

She believes life begins at conception.

She implanted all fertilized 8 embryos because she believed they were "lives".

She would not consent to reducing the number of embryos once implanted.

How come the pro-life movement doesn't have her mug up on posters as the ideal woman??


Posted by: toritto | February 28, 2009 7:07 PM

Hmmm. I wonder if the vetting team checked Wikipedia? It says that in 2007 she traveled to Istanbul to attend the annual Bilderberg Group meeting. That is a group that meets secretly to plot a new world order.

Posted by: Bitter_Bill | February 28, 2009 7:03 PM

Kevinschmidt, it does not look like Obama wants to pull Dean back from the honorable but extremely premature retirement. I feel something similar to the real physical pain, watching it.

Posted by: aepelbaum | February 28, 2009 7:01 PM

I believe Governor Sebelius is competent, but this means we lose a strong Democrat in Kansas.

Governor Dean is even more competent and would not leave a hole in a crucial state. But I think he is just too independent-minded for President Obama. I respect Obama, but he is surrounding himself with loyal supporters, just like Bush did. Of course there is a BIG improvement in the quality of the supporters.

Posted by: dotellen | February 28, 2009 6:58 PM

I also want to know if she has paid her taxes. Also, has she paid Social Security on her domestic help, and are they legal residents?

Also, how is her relationship with her significant other(s)?

Posted by: Bitter_Bill | February 28, 2009 6:52 PM

She is the governor currently, ravitchn. Governors are under the permanent scrutiny to pay their taxes. At that point, she should be okay now.

Posted by: aepelbaum | February 28, 2009 6:47 PM

I figured POTUS Barack Obama will reward the Governor with a high level appointment, but HHS Secretary? What is her connection to health issues?

Posted by: KYJurisDoctor

You don't know?? Sebelius is the abortion Governor..She supports late term and partial birth abortion.

She accepted campaign contributions from the controversial and prolific Wichita, Kansas abortion doctor "baby killer" George Tiller.

That is her only link to Health and Human services. Doesn't sound healthy or ...even human to me..

Why is this administration think aborting babies is such a pressing and neccesary isue? Oh well...maybe Obama will help all the libtards abort themselves into extinction

Posted by: Straightline | February 28, 2009 6:46 PM

Yes, kevinschmidt, Obama owed Dean a lot. He owed the country to be grateful to Dean. Obama should pay his debts, it is the time!

Posted by: aepelbaum | February 28, 2009 6:45 PM

Has she paid her taxes?

Posted by: ravitchn | February 28, 2009 6:45 PM

Yes, they screwed Dean up again. I can't understand why. His policies, even if they were against Emmanuel suggestions, placed Obama in White House, created two great democratic elections' victories of 2006 and 2008. I do not know Sibelius. But no matter how good she is, Howard Dean was and is the better person for the job. Everybody sees it. What is it: Obama's jealocy, his fear of successful opponent, or whaanything else? I like Obama, I like his outlined intentions. I, however, cannot understand, no matter how hard I try, why Obama is screwing Dean up. I was born in former Soviet Union, and I know that Stalin's terrible crimes were starting similar way. I am really fearful.

Posted by: aepelbaum | February 28, 2009 6:41 PM

Contrary to some of the posts above, Sebelius certainly has qualifications for the post. No one has *complete* qualifications for any cabinet post, but Sebelius certain has experience that will give her perspective. Sebelius was an insurance commissioner for 8 years, and more recently she has been a governor. In both positions she certainly dealt with health issues. She also has a reputation for being a sharp executive, also a good trait. You can disagree with the choice, but to call her unqualified is simply ignorant.

Posted by: T-Rain | February 28, 2009 6:32 PM

you republicans are a disgrace, wishing obama (and in effect the country) ill! what is wrong with you people? if he fails we fail- IDIOTS !

Posted by: goldenrulejoe | February 28, 2009 6:25 PM

Once again, they screwed Howard Dean, who undoubtedly was the best (non)candidate for the job.

Come on Obama, stop listening to Rahm's enormous ego. Howard Dean, more than anyone else, put you in the White House. Put Dean in charge of the FDA, the hired hit squad of big pharma. You owe it to him and to the country.

If not, I hope at least you are funding his 50 country strategy to bring true and lasting democracy to the world.

Posted by: kevinschmidt | February 28, 2009 6:23 PM

I figured POTUS Barack Obama will reward the Governor with a high level appointment, but HHS Secretary? What is her connection to health issues?

Posted by: KYJurisDoctor | February 28, 2009 6:20 PM

Yep,mgdt you got it right as my own senior
citizen disabled 72 year old brother just
had his prescriotion drug assistance for
co-pays from the State of Aerizona totally
cut off,due to an alleged lack of money and
deficit,and so now I want to know where the
Hell all that supposed $15 Billion Dollars
of Federal Assistance for Medicaid and our
elderly and long term disabled went already
or did it just "magically disappear with
a wave of Messiah Barack Hussein Obama's
magic wand and went poof in a cloud of
Obama's pixie dust? Or,did Obama lie about
it and never intended to deliver it?

And,then we have Barack Obama hatred of our
highly effective Medicare/Medicaid Advantage Plans like my brothers here in
Arizona that clearly Obama wants to destroy
as well. You bet Seblius will end up just
another Obama cheerleader waving her cute
Obama pom poms and yelling Go Team Obama!

So, I fully agree Barack Hussein Obama the
New Worst President Ever and I add that
Michelle Obama is Worst First Lady ever.
So I Support Impeachment of Obama!

Posted by: Jan521977 | February 28, 2009 6:19 PM

Good choice, Mr. President. I think she'll be better than Daschle would have been. She knows how to talk to the insurance companies, but she doesn't seem to be in their pockets.

Posted by: B2O2 | February 28, 2009 6:05 PM

Obama has a health care reform plan that criminally penalizes the elderly and the poor who already have poor care and limited access to care.

Just like the wrong assumptions with the Iraq War, this president is assuming he can take money out of Medicare and Medicaid.

Now he has selected an Obama cheerleader with no qualifications to head HHS.

A new "worst president ever"!

Posted by: mgd1 | February 28, 2009 6:03 PM

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