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Health Nominee Sebelius Has Bipartisan Pros and Cons

When it comes to Gov. Kathleen Sebelius's ability to be bipartisan, the diagnosis is mixed. As a Democratic governor of red-state Kansas, President Obama's pick for health and human services secretary has worked with a Republican-led legislature. But when it comes to policy, many conservatives will fight her stances like a deadly virus.

National pro-life groups have already expressed opposition of Sebelius, a choice some say is worse than your run-of-the-mill pro-choice nominee. In April 2007, she held an event with a reported late-term abortion provider and his clinic's staff at the governor's residence. Thus, pro-life advocates view Sebelius as an abortion-rights radical.

Besides abortion, Republicans, at least in Kansas, don't seem to agree with her healthcare plans either. She has failed to convince lawmakers to raise taxes on tobacco for increased coverage. During her two terms as governor, the rate of uninsured Kansans have grown seven times as fast in the sate compared to the national average. Still, Sebelius's healthcare expertise is considered one of her greatest assets.

Do you think Kathleen will have a better time getting bipartisan support for reform than the candidate Obama passed over — Howard Dean?


Join The Conversation
piper23 piper23 8 years
At least she is not Howard Dean.
UnDave35 UnDave35 8 years
The problem is providing healthcare, it's in who takes on the associated costs? Do we create a government insurance company to provide insurance for those people who are unable to get health insurance? Do we just switch everyone over to a national health care system? Do we figure out how to keep the associated costs of health down, so the resulting insurance premiums don't skyrocket?
liliblu liliblu 8 years
"Do you think Kathleen will have a better time getting bipartisan support for reform than the candidate Obama passed over — Howard Dean?" No. This will be a battle. Change is hard.
flutterpie flutterpie 8 years
i think it would of been interesting if he would of tapped romney, he has done more for healthcare in his state than anyone.
stephley stephley 8 years
It seems to me that to make health care available to every person is key to protecting and nurturing life.
UnDave35 UnDave35 8 years
It depends on what kind of health care reform she treis to implement.
mydiadem mydiadem 8 years
In May, Archbishop Joseph F. Naumann of Kansas City, Kansas, said that Sebelius' stance on abortion had "grave spiritual and moral consequences." He asked that Sebelius no longer receive Communion until she repudiated her stance and made a "worthy sacramental confession." Naumann was reacting to Sebelius' veto of state Senate Bill 389 and the subsequent House version, titled the Comprehensive Abortion Reform Act, either of which would have tightened abortion regulations in Kansas. In shooting down SB 389 in April, Sebelius wrote that the bill was problematic because it included no exceptions for pregnancies that endanger a woman's life and it allowed for individuals to seek court orders preventing a woman from obtaining an abortion, even if the procedure was necessary to save her life. "I am concerned that the bill is likely unconstitutional, or even worse, endangers the lives of women," Sebelius said in a statement. She further said that Kansas had striven to lower its abortion rates through adoption incentives, extended health services for pregnant women, sex education and support services for families. The liberal group Catholics United has come to Sebelius' defense, saying the Kansas governor has taken several steps to lower the abortion rate in her state. The group also has posted excerpts of a 2006 speech in which Sebelius said she opposed abortion. "My Catholic faith teaches me that all life is sacred, and personally I believe abortion is wrong," she said then. "However, I disagree with the suggestion that criminalizing women and their doctors is an effective means of achieving the goal of reducing the number of abortions in our nation."
stephley stephley 8 years
No, they'll fight her just as hard.
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