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Panel Approves HHS Nominee


Sen. Charles Grassley (R-Iowa), the top Republican on Senate Finance Committee, center, and committee member Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), left, talk with Health and Human Services secretary-designate, Kansas Gov. Kathleen Sebelius on Capitol Hill in Washington on April 2, 2009. (Susan Walsh/Associated Press)

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.

By Washington Post Editor  |  April 21, 2009; 11:34 AM ET
Categories:  Cabinet  
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Comments

What's the Doctors' opinion?
http://www.pnhp.org/

Posted by: rooster54 | April 22, 2009 12:41 PM | Report abuse

She's not my fave choice, but I wish the new secretary all the best.
Howard Dean should have been the new HHS. But Obama's chief of staff is a hard-a$$. It's his administration's loss, for sure.
And to wfcoyote: You sound insane. Please get some help, for your and your family's sake.

Posted by: vegasgirl1 | April 21, 2009 7:35 PM | Report abuse

Nah, dotellen, Sebelius taking the cabinet position doesn't leave the KS statehouse in the hands of a republican. She has flipped several "moderate" republicans, who have little political choice as the KS Repub party is in the hands of the zealots (in this respect, Kansas has been the petri dish of the nation). Hopefully, the Lt Gov continues her opposition to the attempts to install mega-coal plants in w'rn KS. The real political risk in KS is that Sebelius would have had a great opportunity to be the first Democratic senator in forever, if she had stuck around to run for Brownback's seat in '10.

Posted by: rmutt1917 | April 21, 2009 6:47 PM | Report abuse

"Those are not the thought processes of a political party; those are rants from nonsensical psychopaths."

That would be the deranged evangelical right-wing extremists and the blood-thirsty paranoid neo-con's. They all certainly have their demons to battle. The good news is that new medications are available, if only they would seek help. :-)

Posted by: thebobbob | April 21, 2009 6:30 PM | Report abuse

Somebody start a new political party before the Democrats take over completely. If these rants are representative of Republican thinking, the Nation is in real trouble. Those are not the thought processes of a political party; those are rants from nonsensical psychopaths.

Posted by: Annandale | April 21, 2009 6:05 PM | Report abuse

abortion is not the issue of concern.
Roe vs Wade will never be reversed.
why?
because of state's legalizing same sex marriage.
the precedent will be set.
If a state legalizes same sex marriage, it cannot overturn Roe vs Wade.

Posted by: TheBabeNemo | April 21, 2009 4:35 PM | Report abuse

The problem with Kathy Sebelius is that she is not your average pro-abortion supporter. She is an extreme, late-term, George Tiller supporter. She and the notorious Tiller (families fly in to Wichita, Kansas for young girls to get late-term abortions) promote the violent killing of babies, even in the 9th month of the pregnancy. Is this the message Obama wants to send for Health and Human Services?? Wow...

Posted by: Phil6 | April 21, 2009 4:26 PM | Report abuse

ANOTHER BABY KILLER IN THE WHITE HOUSE. I HOPE ALL OF YOU HOLIDAY CATHOLICS ARE PLEASED WITH YOUR VOTE. THE GOOD NEWS IS THAT WE ALL WILL BE JUDGED WHEN WE DIE,DONT FORGET YOUR SUNSCREEN. THANK YOU.

Posted by: wfcoyote | April 21, 2009 2:35 PM

/

You're welcome.

Posted by: Attucks | April 21, 2009 4:05 PM | Report abuse

It was a given that Obama was going to put a pro-choicer in this position. Just too bad he had to follow-up Daschle with another Catholic hyprocrit.

Posted by: DMA0201 | April 21, 2009 3:48 PM | Report abuse

I, too, would have preferred former Gov. Howard Dean as Secretary, but the selection of the Kansas governor is also a good choice.

As for those that express themselves in capital letters, only, let me just say: You lost the election. Get over it. You have problems with pro-choice issues, but where were you when post-birth lives are lost--in war, on the streets, due to no or inadequate health insurance?

I am a fellow Catholic and appreciate her nomination. Life is not just from conception to birth--there are so many other factors to consider.

Posted by: louis-michel | April 21, 2009 3:12 PM | Report abuse

"ANOTHER BABY KILLER IN THE WHITE HOUSE. I HOPE ALL OF YOU HOLIDAY CATHOLICS ARE PLEASED WITH YOUR VOTE. THE GOOD NEWS IS THAT WE ALL WILL BE JUDGED WHEN WE DIE,DONT FORGET YOUR SUNSCREEN. THANK YOU.
wfcoyote"
Please have some Vermont cheedar cheese and a some scrambed eggs for a heart health snack-control freak.

Posted by: crrobin | April 21, 2009 3:01 PM | Report abuse

I would have preferred Dr. Howard Dean, but it appears that President Obama cannot get along with him-- or with former Vice-President Al Gore. A pity there are these ego problems, but we can't expect the man to be perfect.

Sebelius is a good choice, but that leaves Kansas in the hands of a Republican Lt. Guv, as I recall.

Posted by: dotellen | April 21, 2009 2:53 PM | Report abuse

It's bad enough that the d-crats waste trillions of taxpayer money on a harmful pork-filled social-welfare "stimulus", endless bailouts and other garbage. It adds insult to injury to have them hand over responsible positions to TAX CRIMINALS.

PARTIAL LIST OF LOONY-LEFT LIBERAL D-CRAT TAX CHEATS:

Tim Geithner, hussein's Secretary of Treasury and head of IRS - this TAX CHEAT failed to pay $34,000 in federal taxes plus thousands more in state taxes.

Charlie Rangle, Chairman, House Ways and Means Committee - this TAX CHEAT failed to pay $10,000 in federal taxes plus thousands more in state taxes. Yet, botox pelosi keeps him in charge of the Tax Panel!

Caroline "You Know" Kennedy, Loony-Left Princess - failed to disclose the enormous amount of her TAX CHEATING on her $400 MILLION inherited fortune.

Keith Olbermann, The Most Biased Political Commentator on The Most Biased Loony-Left Liberal Cable Network - so far his warrants and penalties for TAX CHEATING in California and New York amount to more than $100,000.

Tom Daschle - hussein's candidate for HHS secretary - this TAX CHEAT failed to pay $128,000 in federal taxes, plus tens of thousands more in state taxes. Recent evidence indicates he has cheated on more items. In addition, he has received over $220,000 from the same healthcare groups he would deal with as HHS secretary.

Kathleen Sebelius - hussein's SECOND candidate for HHS secretary - used undocumented, phony deductions to cheat the federal government out of more than $7000 over three years.

Nancy Killefer - hussein's candidate for chief performance officer - this TAX CHEAT has a tax lien on her home filed by the D.C. government over nonpayment of employment taxes on household help.

Hilda Solis - hussein's candidate to be labor secretary - her TAX CHEAT husband didn't pay about $6,400 to settle tax liens against his business -- liens that had been outstanding for as long as 16 years - until the day before her confirmation hearing!

Ron Kirk - hussein's nominee for trade representative - owes roughly $10,000 in back federal taxes covering the years 2005, 2006 and 2007

It took JUST TWO WEEKS for the pelosi-hussein regime to become the most TAX CORRUPT GOVERNMENT IN HISTORY.

D-crats love to tax you to death, then tax your death. But they hate to pay taxes, and they'll cheat the government out of every penny they can.

Posted by: LoonyLeft | April 21, 2009 2:48 PM | Report abuse

ANOTHER BABY KILLER IN THE WHITE HOUSE. I HOPE ALL OF YOU HOLIDAY CATHOLICS ARE PLEASED WITH YOUR VOTE. THE GOOD NEWS IS THAT WE ALL WILL BE JUDGED WHEN WE DIE,DONT FORGET YOUR SUNSCREEN. THANK YOU.

Posted by: wfcoyote | April 21, 2009 2:35 PM | Report abuse

"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."

Why would you not want to base insurance payment on effectiveness? We are going to have to change the way we think of health and health care in this nation. Our live births are less, and we do not live longer in better health than other industrialized countries.

Posted by: lirbro | April 21, 2009 2:27 PM | Report abuse

Ah, "Change we can believe in". Yet another cabinet member with tax issues. Thank goodness we don't have budget problems!

Posted by: jcyr4 | April 21, 2009 2:05 PM | Report abuse

don't listen to Kyl.
Arizona is so messed up in Education and Health Care. We blew so much federal funding (for health) for integrating services from 2005 to 2008, under Bush's New Freedom Initiative, and accomplished nothing...
--plus Wash DC knew we messed up royal and now AZ will have to jump through hoops to get funded for anything in the future.

no congressman from Arizona, including McCain knows what the heck is going on.
Never listen to them.

The HealthCare Challenge...
within 5 years - to get totally electronic with records. It is the one goal the American people can hold them to.

Posted by: TheBabeNemo | April 21, 2009 2:04 PM | Report abuse

$$ TRILLION DOLLAR DEFICITS as far as the eyes can see.........

"Obama........ We are now entering the Era of Responsbility"

Obama's "jacked-up" Federal spending will bankrupt the USA before it's all over.

Posted by: allenridge | April 21, 2009 1:39 PM | Report abuse

How many Democrat TAX CHEATS and LOBBYISTS does this make in the Obama cabinet?

Yep........Change we can NOT believe in.

Where am I wrong?

Posted by: allenridge | April 21, 2009 1:36 PM | Report abuse

Perhaps the Republicans aren't egotistical like Rahm Emanual and would rather see the position filled by Dr. Howard Dean.

Naa. In reality, the Republicans are dodos waddling down the path to political extinction. But Rahm is indeed egotistical, in a megalomaniac sort of way.

Posted by: kevinschmidt | April 21, 2009 1:29 PM | Report abuse

The senate panel and particularly the two Republicans should be voted out of the office.Democrats just toeing Obama's nominee.I am more qualified than Sebelius. I have seen both sides of the Health Care.I am holding a gun and I know what it means to know the two sides of the Gun.We are wasting enormous budget and getting back nothing as a senior tax payer.Changing to electronic method will end up with the pool of money untraceable. The end users will be loosers.Every american will come back home from doctor's office with a prescription which does not address the main reason for visiting the physician.I am a retired physician and know what I am getting.Majority of americans are not as fortunate and take the ride.Nationalisation of Health care is coming, with that we get mediocre health care. This is not a wise choice for the BUCKS we pay

Posted by: jayrkay | April 21, 2009 1:27 PM | Report abuse

Spit-ball throwing obstructionism is what it is, now this time it's the Republicans who are guilty.

Grand
Old
Pity

Retire the Republican Party for good in '10!

Posted by: tony_in_Durham_NC | April 21, 2009 12:59 PM | Report abuse

When you want a Secretary of Health who can function effectively in forging a health-care program you don't want someone as controversial as this abortionist governor. Obama could pick his people with more care.

Posted by: ravitchn | April 21, 2009 12:59 PM | Report abuse

Hold on to your hats folks. The "pro-life" harpies will smell this a mile away and will soon be here in force.

Posted by: willandjansdad1 | April 21, 2009 12:52 PM | Report abuse

I agree with parkerfl1. Senator Kyl, as well as Senator Cornyn (from my state) continue to prove themselves to be hypocrites of the highest order.

Posted by: ghp60 | April 21, 2009 12:27 PM | Report abuse

So the GOP continues it hypocrisy by conveniently abandoning its clarion call for "up or down votes", but not applicable to for Democratic nominees. Kyl is from a failed state (Arizona) and with his types representing it, they soon will declare all fossils only 5800 years old. These nutjobs have abandoned all intellectual honesty and are subverting our form of government.

John Boehner's interview on ABC Sunday morning with Geo. Stephanopoulos was so amateurish, muddled and bungled that it was an complete embarrassment for the GOP he leads in the House. Even Bobby Jindal would have been clearer, though also an amateur. Are these guys the best the GOP has? Bolivia and Bangladesh can offer far superior leaders.

Posted by: enough3 | April 21, 2009 12:22 PM | Report abuse

Nice job of hypocritical grandstanding, Sen. Kyl!

http://www.political-buzz.com/

Posted by: parkerfl1 | April 21, 2009 12:08 PM | Report abuse

So it appears the Republicans don't want "Cost Effective Medicine"? Or is it really just her view on abortion (which is allowed by law in this country).

Posted by: MichelleKinPA | April 21, 2009 12:05 PM | Report abuse

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