Senate Confirms Sebelius as HHS Secretary

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Senate Confirms Sebelius as HHS Secretary

For Immediate Release: Contact:    Kristin Oberlander
(202) 466-2100
Twitter: koberlander


Self-Employed Turn An Eye Toward Washington As Health Reform Takes Shape

Washington, D.C., April 29, 2009 -- As conversations on swine flu and health care reform heat up, the final vacancy in Present Obama's Cabinet, the secretary for the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), has been filled. The Senate voted to confirm Kansas Gov. Kathleen Sebelius, President Obama's second nominee for the position; the President's first nominee, former Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle (D-S.D.) withdrew his nomination after a number of unresolved tax issues with the I.R.S. surfaced.

Sebelius will lead the department responsible for the government's largest health programs, including Medicare and Medicaid, and control a budget of over $600 billion. Perhaps the biggest responsibility for Sebelius this year will be to work with Nancy-Ann DeParle, director of President Obama's Office of Health Reform, to overhaul the nation's health care system, a project for which his budget set aside $634 billion over 10 years.

Access to quality, affordable health care is a top legislative priority for the National Association for the Self-Employed (NASE). According to a 2008 survey on health care reform, nearly 85 percent of micro-business owners support a system that provides coverage for all Americans. However, respondents differ on the structure of that system; nearly 23 percent prefer the current system, 25.4 percent support a government-run system requiring every American to purchase coverage, and 24.5 percent favor a government-run system paid for through taxes.

Sebelius was confirmed by the full Senate by a vote of 65-31. Some Republicans, however, expressed concerns about Sebelius' strong support for abortion rights and her support for the administration's policy of comparative effectiveness research.

Senators of both parties overlooked errors on Sebelius' 2005 and 2007 tax returns and some underreported campaign contributions now that she has corrected both issues. Sebelius has been governor of Kansas since 2002, and was the state's insurance commissioner for eight years before becoming governor.

Read more about the NASE's advocacy efforts concerning affordable coverage for micro-businesses and their families here.

About the NASE
The National Association for the Self-Employed (NASE) is the nation's leading resource for the self-employed and micro-businesses, bringing a broad range of benefits to help entrepreneurs succeed and to drive the continued growth of this vital segment of the American economy. The NASE is a 501(c) (6) nonprofit organization and provides big-business advantages to hundreds of thousands of micro-businesses across the United States. For more information, visit the association's Web site at

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