Sebelius confirmed, sworn in as Health and Human Services secretary

WASHINGTON (CNS) — The Senate confirmed Gov. Kathleen Sebelius of Kansas as secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services by a 61-35 vote April 28 and she was sworn in to the post hours later.

During the Senate debate, Sen. Chris Dodd, D-Conn., who is Catholic, attributed the delay in confirming Sebelius to “petty politics” and praised the Obama administration for its commitment to base department decisions “on the best available science, not the political ideology of the moment.”

But Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., expressed fear that the health care reform plan promoted by President Barack Obama and Sebelius would lead to a government-run health system and reduce consumer choice. “Americans need to be assured that they will not lose the private health coverage that they want to keep or that their treatment options will have to be approved by a government bureaucrat,” McCain said. “While I respect the right of President Obama to nominate Gov. Sebelius to be the next secretary of HHS, she has failed to provide us with those assurances, and I regret that I cannot support her confirmation.”

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