Obama Pulls Health Team Together

President Obama is pulling his health care team together.

Monday, he nominated Kansas Governor Kathleen Sebelius as his choice for secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) Monday. As secretary of HHS, Sebelius would oversee a department of 65,000 employees with a budget of more than $700 billion. Sebelius is currently in her second term as govenor of Kansas, where she served as state insurance commissioner for eight years and oversaw the state’s Medicaid program.

Obama also named Nancy-Ann Min DeParle as health czar. DeParle directed the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ (CMS) predecessor, the Health Care Financing Administration (HCFA), from 1997 to 2000 and the Office of Management and Budget before that under President Bill Clinton. The CMS is a department of the HHS.

Last week the President appointed Dr. Mary Wakefield, director of the Center for Rural Health at the University of North Dakota, as administrator of the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), which funds HHS’ health initiatives.

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