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Sunday, March 8, 2009

AP: Pro-abortion Gov. Kathleen Sebelius tapped to lead HHS

Kansas Gov. Kathleen Sebelius is President Barack Obama's choice for secretary of health and human services, a White House source said Saturday.

The source, who was not authorized to speak on the record, said Obama will formally announce the nomination on Monday.

The Sebelius pick caps a week in which Obama underscored his resolve to pass a major health care overhaul this year. He issued a challenge to Congress in his speech Tuesday, and followed up Thursday with a budget that requested an eye-popping $634 billion over 10 years, which the administration called a "down payment on coverage for all." This week, Obama will host lawmakers of both parties and representatives of major interest groups, from insurers to drug companies to consumers, at a White House summit on health care reform.

Sebelius, 60, is seen as a solid choice to head HHS because as a governor responsible for the Medicaid program in Kansas, she faced the pressure of rising health care costs directly, and saw how hard it is to expand coverage, particularly in bad economic times. She is also familiar with the insurance industry, a key interest group in the health care debate. Before becoming governor, she served as insurance commissioner, and her fellow state commissioners selected her to be national president of their association.
Abortion foes strongly oppose Sebelius because she once had a reception attended by a late-term abortion provider who now faces criminal charges. Democrats say there was never any doubt that Obama would appoint an HHS secretary who supports abortion rights.  (Full story at Ignatius Insight)

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