Federal Relations

March 2, 2009

President Obama Rounds Out Cabinet

Today, President Obama nominated Governor Kathleen Sebelius (D-KS) to head the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). Prior to serving as Governor of Kansas, Sebelius served as the state’s insurance commissioner for eight years. The Sebelius pick has, thus far, drawn bipartisan praise from the Senate. If Sebelius and Commerce Secretary-designate Gary Locke (D-WA) are confirmed, President Obama’s cabinet will be complete.

In addition to the HHS selection, today, the President announced that former Clinton administration official Nancy-Ann DeParle will serve as director of the White House Office of Health Reform, which is a new post created to oversee the anticipated health care reform effort. President Obama’s budget outline included $634 billion over 10 years for an overhaul of the health care system. Leaders in Congress have expressed a belief that hearings will begin by this summer.