On Mar. 2, 2009, President Obama nominated Kansas Governor Kathleen Sebelius as his new Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS). Sebelius, who has served as governor of Kansas since 2003, was Kansas’ Insurance Commissioner from 1994-2002. Sebelius, a Democrat governor in a predominately Republican state, is expected to help facilitate bipartisan healthcare reform. “As Secretary of Health and Human Services, Sebelius will work with Democrats and Republicans alike to cut costs, expand access, and improve the quality of healthcare for all Americans,” a White House press release states. Her nomination awaits Senate approval.
President Obama also appointed Nancy-Ann DeParle Counselor to the President and Director of the White House Office for Health Reform. DeParle was previously commissioner of Tennessee’s Department of Human Services. According to the White House press release, DeParle handled budget matters for federal healthcare programs during the Clinton administration and managed Medicare and Medicaid.
Obama stated in the release that, “Healthcare reform that reduces costs while expanding coverage is no longer just a dream we hope to achieve—it’s a necessity we have to achieve. And today, I am proud to announce key members of my team who will be critical to that effort: Kansas Governor Kathleen Sebelius for my Secretary of Health and Human Services and Nancy-Ann DeParle as Director of the White House Office for Health Reform.”