Kansas Governor Sebelius has been chosen to lead HHS; Nancy-Ann Min DeParle will lead the White House Office for Health Reform
During a press conference at the White House on March 2, the President announced two-term Kansas Governor Kathleen Sebelius (D) as his choice to be the next secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). He also introduced Nancy-Ann Min DeParle as his appointee to direct the newly created White House Office for Health Reform, a position also referred to as the "health care czar."
Former Senator Tom Daschle had been selected to fill both roles, but withdrew in early February after revelations about unpaid taxes.
Sebelius was elected governor of Kansas in 2002 and was re-elected in 2006. She previously served as the state insurance commissioner for eight years. During the conference, Obama praised her understanding of health care and her ability to build bipartisan consensus. Secretary-designate Sebelius will have to receive Senate confirmation before officially assuming the role.
Nancy-Ann Min DeParle will work with Sebelius as the President's counselor and liaison with Congress on health care reform. DeParle previously served as a top health official in the Clinton administration, a commissioner of the Department of Human Services in Tennessee, and as a member of the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (medPAC), an independent Federal body that advises Congress on Medicare payment and policy issues.
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