Senate Confirms Sebelius as Health Secretary

By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Apr 28, 2009 6:00 PM CDT
Kansas Gov. Kathleen Sebelius testifies on Capitol Hill on April 1.   (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)
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(Newser) – Kansas Gov. Kathleen Sebelius won Senate confirmation today to serve as the nation's health and human services secretary. She already has a public health emergency on her hands with the swine flu sickening dozens of Americans. The 65-31 vote came after Democrats urged quick action so Sebelius could get to work leading the federal response to the flu outbreak.

Republican opponents cited Sebelius' pro-abortion stances and raised concerns about whether the Obama administration's plans to overhaul the nation's health system would lead to rationing of care. Sebelius was the final Obama Cabinet pick awaiting confirmation. "It is essential for the health of the nation that President Obama has in place, and the nation has in place, a strong secretary of HHS," said Sen. Mark Warner, D-Va.