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Suggested Questions for Kathleen Sebelius

By Ed O'Keefe

Kathleen Sebelius starts two days of confirmation hearings today, so let's quickly review some suggested questions for her from the Government Accountability Office, as The Eye has done with every other cabinet nominee.


The GAO cites several areas of concern at HHS worthy of conversation, mostly about Medicare, Medicaid and overseeing the safety of the nation's patients, medical products and food. Here are some of the suggested questions (read all of them here):

• What unique knowledge, skills, and abilities would you bring to the department that would help you identify, negotiate, and implement measures to assure Medicare’s fiscal sustainability?

• Given the size and growth of Medicaid as well as the diversity in funding and coverage levels across states, reforming how the Medicaid program is financed is going to be quite complex. Can you describe what has prepared you to help lead a reexamination of how Medicaid is financed?

• What skills, knowledge, and abilities would you bring to the department to improve patient safety and care quality?

• FDA faces a great challenge in overseeing an enormous volume of promotional materials submitted by drug companies. Do you have any experiences that might illustrate your readiness to help FDA ensure that this growing volume of promotional material is not false or misleading?

• If you were to assume a position in the department, what would you do to encourage greater interest in joining the public health workforce?

• While many American children and families thrive, others live in poverty, increasing their risks for adverse outcomes, such as low educational attainment, poor health, and criminal activity. Would you discuss how your experience could be brought to bear in the department to ensure the effective and efficient operation of its programs to promote child well-being and economic independence for families?

By Ed O'Keefe  | March 31, 2009; 11:30 AM ET
Categories:  Confirmation Hearings  
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