Sebelius confirmed

May 15, 2009

Kansas Governor Kathleen Sebelius is confirmed as HHS Secretary.

Kansas Governor Kathleen Sebelius has been confirmed and sworn in as the next Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).

“It is an honor to lead the Department of Health and Human Services, and I am grateful for the opportunity to serve at such a pivotal moment in our history,” she said in a statement.Secretary Sebelius has more than 20 years of experience in state government, and has been a leader on healthcare issues for over a decade. She was first elected governor of Kansas in 2003 and was re-elected in 2006.

In response to the announcement, Scott P. Serota, president and CEO of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Assn. (BCBSA), issued a statement supporting the confirmation.

“Secretary Sebelius has long been an advocate of expanding access and making healthcare more affordable. We look forward to working with her, the Obama administration and members of Congress on comprehensive healthcare reform this year that builds on the existing employer-based system of coverage to expand coverage to all Americans and improve quality while reining-in costs,” Serota said.

At a recent House Ways and Means Committee hearing, Sebelius stressed the importance of health IT interoperability, as well as the importance of including adequate privacy protections for health data.