The NY Times is reporting this evening, that Gov. Kathleen Sebelius, is President Obama's Top choice, as Health & Human Services Secretary.
The NY Times Says in it's first Paragraph of its article:
President Obama has settled on Gov. Kathleen Sebelius of Kansas, a key ally with a record of working across party lines, as his top choice for secretary of health and human services, advisers said Wednesday.
Here's the link.
Though it's not official, obviously. The article makes pains to indicate, that the vetting process needs to be completed (after all the Obama Cabinet level tax problems, lately), before she is officially selected and signed off by Obama and his team. Here's the Times again:
It remained unclear whether the White House would finish vetting Ms. Sebelius in time to finalize her nomination by next week. Advisers described her as "the leading candidate" and said there were no others to mention, although they emphasized no final decision has been made. After the troubles with Mr. Daschle and other recent nominees, the White House has intensified its vetting to make sure it thoroughly scrubs its choices before Mr. Obama gives the final signoff.
Gov. Sebelius, A Bi-partisan Governor, in a traditionally Republican state, certainly has the background. Besides, having that Bi-partisan record. Gov. Sebelius was also state Health Insurance Commissioner for 8 years, and a Governor that had to balance budgets (including a last minute deal to save the State Budget this year), with a Republican legislature and who's also dealt with Medicaid issues.
The interesting this is; Governor Sebelius is going to be in Washington this upcoming Sat-Tuesday (the Times states), possibly overlapping Obama concern for Health Care ( He deems it very important the Times says) that President obama possibly plans to address Tuesday (when Sebelius will still be in town). The article states:
With his economic recovery plan signed into law, Mr. Obama plans to turn his attention more to health care next week with a budget blueprint that will begin to advance his ideas about covering the uninsured, advisers said. He may also make health care an important theme of his prime-time address to a joint session of Congress on Tuesday night, they said
I'm not exactly sure, if Gov. Sebelius's Bi-Partisan chops, will work with the current rabid Republican Senate and House. These Congressional dolts seem dug in pretty well to oblivion (check every latest poll on congressional approval levels). The GOP plummeting poll levels have not stopped their maddness. At least Daschle, had the respect and Senate gentlemen etiquette going for him, in the Lions Den.
Currently, what relations does Sebelius have, to break through the partisan gridlock (or does she even need to?). What American, thinks with a crumbling economy and rising medical cost, that health care shouldn't be more affordable? After all, maybe Sebelius wouldn't need to agree with Republican's, on what could be (Health Care) their legislative Waterloo? Can she be a key insider in that fight, if she's picked (is she to centrist, or she was just dealing with the hand that was dealt her in Kansas)? I guess we'll find out.
The other question to be asked is; does this make her a better choice than, Tom Daschle would of been, Howard Dean, or anyone else?
Some may also say, should we keep a Democrat(and Obama confidant), in a traditionally Republican State House (who may later fun for a coveted Senate). Let's see what happens, next Tuesday. Lol.
Most people on Kos know that, the United States, spends on average, twice as much on Health Care, as compared to other Industrialized Nations, with inferior outcomes (we're about #22 with outcomes).
Health care is one of those platform issues, that can transcend Obama's Presidency (if he can ever get in a good, affordable plan for everyone). Because, not everyone owns a home, works or fights in Iraq (though we still may care what goes on there). But everyone, at some point or another in their life, will face health care or medication issues. It's the biggest portion of most states budgets (therefore the biggest consumer/state budget cost in America). Remember, the Pentagon is not a consumer/state budget issue.
Obama is off to a good start so far. He has already passed the new SCHIP legislation. But what a lot of people don't realize is, that the current stimulus plan, subsidizes 65% of employees COBRA/Insurance cost, if they lose their jobs,and choose not to, or can't afford their companies healthcare/insurance plan, so opt for COBRA. Federal law that states, if an employee losing their insurance through work, they have a right to purchase it. But, unfortanately, the cost are usually exorbidan't for a individual or family to afford). The stimulus, buttressing COBRA is an outstanding development. Hopefully. We are one step closer on our march for affordable health care for all American's, regardless of their employment, age or income/wealth class.