Sunday, March 01, 2009

Kathleen Sebelius: The Perfect HHS Pick

Kansas Gov. Kathleen Sebelius yesterday accepted President Obama's request to become his secretary of health and human services, and will get the job, assuming she - unlike the majority of Obama picks - has a pile of unpaid tax skeletons in her closet.

She's perfect, not as in she's conservative, but as in she fits all the qualifications needed to be a person of high standing in the Obama administraton. First, she'a a long-time bureaucrat - prior to her two terms as governor,

...The Kansas governor served as state insurance commissioner for eight years...

She expanded government and tried to raise taxes:

Sebelius tried unsuccessfully to expand health coverage in the state through higher cigarette taxes. Still, under her watch, Kansas has added tens of thousands of low-income children to state health programs.

In New Jersey, anyone under $80K gets added to the state-health programs. Is that what the Washington Post considers "low-income". They don't say...

Additionally, as governor, Sebelius was quite Obama-like when it came to the private sector:

Sebelius rejected the sale of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas to an Indiana company, citing the prospect of higher premiums.

The prospect. That allows her to block a sale. That's a great excuse for asserting executive power; expect it to be seen often. There's also a prospect the world may end tomorrow, incidentally...

What else makes her a perfect fit for the Obama administration?

Although she lacks Washington experience, Sebelius is a veteran politician who learned the craft from her father, John J. Gilligan, and later her father-in-law, Keith Sebelius, a Kansas Republican who spent more than a decade in Congress. Kathleen Sebelius, a graduate of Trinity College in Washington, served eight years in the state legislature and was once a lobbyist for the Kansas Trial Lawyers Association.

She'a a neophyte, she's a legacy, she's an ex-lobbyist. Like most of Obama's appointees.

And what kind of a department is this naive waif taking over?

Sebelius, 60, would inherit a sprawling department of 65,000 employees responsible for public health, food safety, scientific research, and the administration of the Medicare and Medicaid programs, which serve 90 million Americans. The solvency of the programs is yet another worry confronting the administration, which has vowed to take on entitlement reform. The department's budget, consumed largely by the two programs, exceeds $700 billion.

Not counting the $635 billion that Obama is planning to add in his new budget...

Confirmed or not, Sebelius' bona fides make her a train wreck waiting to happen. Oh, well, what's another wasted trillion dollars or so when you're spending other people's money ?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

As a resident of Kansas, I would like to point out that many good health-related projects have come to fruition with Sebelius as Governor. Kansas State University has opened a BioSecurity Research Institute to ensure safety of our food supply. Sebelius also signed a bill authorizing the Johnson County Education Research Triangle, a partnership supporting bioscience research and education at existing and planned KU and Kansas State University facilities in the county.