The nomination of Kansas Governor Kathleen Sebelius to head the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) advanced out of the Senate Finance Committee yesterday, leaving only a vote of the full Senate. What was once expected to be a rather comfortable confirmation has evolved into a rather partisan debate over President Obama’s intentions in reforming the U.S. health insurance system. Conservatives on the panel sought assurances — which they did not receive — from Governor Sebelius that HHS would not seek a plan that limited consumer choice of doctor, hospital, or coverage options. Despite the reservations expressed by some members, the Senate Finance Committee approved the nomination on a largely party line 15-8 vote. Consideration of the nomination by the full Senate could take place later this week.