Panel Approves HHS Nominee
By Ceci Connolly
A divided Senate Finance Committee today voted in favor of the nomination of Kansas Governor Kathleen Sebelius (D) to be secretary of health and human services.
Five of seven committee Republicans, including ranking GOP member Sen. Charles Grassley of Iowa, voted against Sebelius, who is President Obama's second choice to run the department. Two Republican lawmakers, Sens. Pat Roberts of Kansas and Olympia Snowe of Maine, joined 13 Democrats in endorsing Sebelius's selection.
The nomination now goes to the full Senate for confirmation.
Sen. Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.) was the only lawmaker to speak prior to the vote. He said he opposed the nomination because of concerns over how Sebelius would implement comparative effectiveness research, which aims to evaluate the most appropriate therapies for certain illnesses.
In written answers to the committee, Sebelius left the impression that the Obama "administration is unwilling to support pro-patient safeguards," Kyl said. "This should be a matter of concern to all of us."
Although he supports evidence-based medicine, Kyl said, he objects to any effort to link clinical effectiveness data with prices, an approach known as cost effectiveness. The National Institutes of Health, he said, "is already taking steps necessary to make cost-based" decisions."
The economic recovery package approved in January sets aside $1.1 billion for comparative effectiveness research. Supporters say the research will help reduce inappropriate and unnecessary medical care. Some conservatives, however, argue it will lead to rationing of health care.
This morning's vote came in the middle of a lengthy roundtable discussion on the healthcare delivery system. It was not immediately clear when the full Senate will consider Sebelius' nomination.
The governor is considered a key player in Obama's effort to dramatically overhaul the delivery of U.S. healthcare. Obama's first choice for the job, Thomas A. Daschle, withdrew from consideration after acknowleding tax errors in excess of $100,000. Sebelius is also the last of Obama's Cabinet nominees still awaiting Senate confirmation. Because she has not been confirmed, she did not attend Obama's first full Cabinet meeting, which was held yesterday.
Posted at 11:34 AM ET on Apr 21, 2009
Share This: Technorati | Tag in Del.icio.us | Digg This
Previous: As 100-Day Mark Nears, Comparisons Begin | Next: Sharing the Stage with Obama: Kennedy and Bill Clinton
Please email us to report offensive comments.
Posted by: rooster54 | April 22, 2009 12:41 PM
Posted by: vegasgirl1 | April 21, 2009 7:35 PM
Posted by: rmutt1917 | April 21, 2009 6:47 PM
Posted by: thebobbob | April 21, 2009 6:30 PM
Posted by: Annandale | April 21, 2009 6:05 PM
Posted by: TheBabeNemo | April 21, 2009 4:35 PM
Posted by: Phil6 | April 21, 2009 4:26 PM
Posted by: Attucks | April 21, 2009 4:05 PM
Posted by: DMA0201 | April 21, 2009 3:48 PM
Posted by: louis-michel | April 21, 2009 3:12 PM
Posted by: crrobin | April 21, 2009 3:01 PM
Posted by: dotellen | April 21, 2009 2:53 PM
Posted by: LoonyLeft | April 21, 2009 2:48 PM
Posted by: wfcoyote | April 21, 2009 2:35 PM
Posted by: lirbro | April 21, 2009 2:27 PM
Posted by: jcyr4 | April 21, 2009 2:05 PM
Posted by: TheBabeNemo | April 21, 2009 2:04 PM
Posted by: allenridge | April 21, 2009 1:39 PM
Posted by: allenridge | April 21, 2009 1:36 PM
Posted by: kevinschmidt | April 21, 2009 1:29 PM
Posted by: jayrkay | April 21, 2009 1:27 PM
Posted by: tony_in_Durham_NC | April 21, 2009 12:59 PM
Posted by: ravitchn | April 21, 2009 12:59 PM
Posted by: willandjansdad1 | April 21, 2009 12:52 PM
Posted by: ghp60 | April 21, 2009 12:27 PM
Posted by: enough3 | April 21, 2009 12:22 PM
Posted by: parkerfl1 | April 21, 2009 12:08 PM
Posted by: MichelleKinPA | April 21, 2009 12:05 PM
The comments to this entry are closed.