Kansas Governor Accepts Offer as Health Secretary
WASHINGTON — President Obama asked Gov. Kathleen Sebelius of Kansas on Saturday to become his nominee for secretary of health and human services, tapping a red state ally to help him push through his plan to remake the nation’s health care system.
Ms. Sebelius accepted the president’s offer and will be introduced by Mr. Obama at the White House on Monday, said administration officials, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to avoid upstaging the formal announcement. The selection comes just days before Mr. Obama hosts a health care summit meeting at the White House.
Despite a record of working with Republicans in some areas, health care was one where she often had trouble forging bipartisan agreement. She tried raising cigarette taxes to pay for health care for the poor but was rebuffed by a Republican Legislature. She promoted universal health care but never reached that goal. And she proposed consolidating health care programs, but lawmakers made sure she could not control the new independent authority.
Abortion may prove a lightning rod in her confirmation. Ms. Sebelius, a Catholic, has repeatedly vetoed abortion regulations on legal or policy grounds. “Personally, I believe abortion is wrong,” she wrote in one veto message before explaining that she did not think the bill would reduce late-term abortions.
Ms. Sebelius has defended her record by pointing to adoption initiatives and falling abortion rates in Kansas, but the archbishop of Kansas City last year said she should not receive communion until repudiating her support for abortion rights.
Anti-abortion leaders also criticize her for hosting a reception at the governor’s mansion in 2007 attended by George Tiller, a prominent Wichita abortion provider. At the time, Dr. Tiller was under investigation and now is about to go on trial for 19 misdemeanor charges of violating state restrictions on late-term abortions, according to news reports.
After her possible nomination became public, the Catholic League called her an “enemy of the unborn” and promised to fight confirmation. “We have the specter of another pro-abortion Catholic stiffing the Catholic Church,” Bill Donohue, the league president, said in a statement. “This is setting up a confrontation that pro-life Catholics will not walk away from.”
She failed to pass any "health care reforms" because she was unable to provide funding without significantly raising taxes. Kansas's balanced budget law requires her to do so, and she was unable to pull it off, even going so far as to blame Republicans for “playing politics with people’s paychecks” - but what she was really up to:
The Governor is asking the Legislature to be complicit in breaking the law by approving certificates of indebtedness outside of the parameters set in statute. Kansas law requires the Director of the Budget to certify that money will be present at the end of the year to pay off certificates of indebtedness, and there is no evidence that will be the case. There is no reason to believe that under the current budget such money will be available. It is irresponsible and illegal to act as if the money will be available when all economic indicators show that we may see even less.
Geez, trying to spend money we don't have for tenuous projects we (the majority) don't want - sound familiar? Plus, she's all talk when it comes to integrity regarding the abortion issue - but that is consistent with her values across the board.
Plus, let's not forget her preventing expansion of the coal fired generating plant in Holcomb, KS. Her administration's likely illegal failure to approve permits based on non compliance with a non pollutant sure helped her image with the Sierra Club and radical environmentalists. This policy also ran off a huge new refinery (Project Nicole). They saw the reaction to the Holcomb spectacle and decided to invest somewhere they were wanted.
But, Sebelius is all about creating jobs - hey, she "got" us The Department of Homeland Security's new animal disease lab - most likely at Kansas State University. Damn those local NIMBYs who fought against having actual, real, fatal, virulent, infectious livestock diseases here in the heart of said livestock country. What could go wrong? Far safer than imaginary pollutants, doncha know.
On one hand, I'm obviously glad to see Kathleen Sebelius
But, still, to all that, I have to say "Don't let the door hit you in the a$$ on the way out." And, with apologies to David Spade, Helen Hunt and SNL, here is the famous Buh Bye (Total Bastard Airlines) sketch. No, I really mean it. Buh Bye.