HHS Secretary Nominee Kathleen Sebelius may have just gotten the ‘cover’ she needs. Fellow Kansan and U.S. Senator Sam Brownback, a staunch pro-life Catholic seems to signal his support for her in a joint statement he made with Kansas’s other Senator Pat Roberts. Not one mention at all on Sebelius’s abortion record. Read below and then get my analysis:
"Congratulations to Governor Sebelius on being nominated to be the Secretary of Health and Human Services," the Senators said. "It's an honor for the State of Kansas to have an elected official appointed to the president's cabinet. We are hopeful Governor Sebelius will be a voice for Kansas and rural America at the Department. We look forward to working with her on issues important to the state including a National Cancer Institute Designation at the University of Kansas Cancer Center."
Sebelius, who has served as Governor of Kansas for six years, was today nominated by the president to serve as Secretary of HHS. Her nomination now heads to the Senate, which will decide whether to confirm the nomination.
"We will be able to pick up the phone and talk directly with the secretary about issues that are important to Kansas. We know we can have a strong dialogue with Governor Sebelius on issues we've been working on including fighting Medicare reimbursement cuts to home health care providers and ensuring the hundreds of billions of health care dollars in the stimulus are wisely spent.
"Obviously we will have different viewpoints than the Administration on many issues including health care reform especially given the huge price tag. We have real concerns about the president's budget which includes an additional $634 billion for a health care ‘reserve fund' which is made up of tax increases and major cuts to programs critical to Kansas seniors. We look forward to talking with Governor Sebelius about the details of the president's plan.
"We are committed to ensuring that every American has access to quality, affordable, and personalized health care. We strongly oppose any move toward one-size-fits-all medicine. We also oppose the introduction of a new public insurance plan option that will reduce quality and choice by crowding-out the private insurance market, and we will work to preserve the healthcare options on which Kansans depend."
The last thing pro-life groups need is to see Senator Brownback signal his support for her nomination. That is a blow considering Brownback is a major friend to groups like Family Research Council, Concerned Women for America, etc. The only way pro-life groups will be able to get traction on this is if pro-life Senators actually speak out against it.
Sebelius will have to go through the Senate Finance Committee so right now it’s important to watch key pro-life Senators on THAT committee like John Cornyn, Jon Jyl and Mike Enzi. Let’s see what they have to say. More on Sebelius nomination here.