Washington, DC—Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid made the following statement today on the nomination of Kathleen Sebelius to be Secretary of Health and Human Services:
“The hole we’ve inherited is a deep one. We’re all in it together, and together is the only way we will we be able to climb out of it.
“One step that will put us back on the path to prosperity is reforming our broken health care system.
“We will soon begin debating the best way to give all Americans the access to quality, affordable health coverage that they deserve. We will begin to lay the groundwork for creating health care jobs that not will not only improve the health of our economy, but of Americans everywhere.
“It will not be an easy task. It will take the cooperation of both Republicans and Democrats. It will take the collaboration of both the White House and the Congress. But right now the President is playing shorthanded.
“Governor Sebelius will be a key player on his team. President Obama will benefit from having her experience and temperament in his Cabinet, and all Americans will benefit from her extraordinary leadership.
“Governor Sebelius has worked hard for the people of Kansas for more than 20 years – the first eight in the state legislature, then as the state’s Insurance Commissioner for another eight years. It’s safe to say she knows a thing or two about the complexities of insuring all Americans and the urgency with which we must do so.
“On her way to becoming Insurance Commissioner, Kathleen Sebelius refused to take campaign contributions from insurance companies. Once she got there, she made her mark by cracking down on HMOs and saving taxpayers money.
“For the last six years, she has served as the Democratic Governor of a bright red state. One doesn’t succeed – let alone get re-elected – in that environment without knowing how to put people ahead of partisanship. Governor Sebelius did just that – she expanded health care for children and made both health care and prescription drugs more affordable for everyone.
“Her integrity is beyond reproach, her expertise is essential and her confirmation is long overdue.
“The only way for our economy to fully recover is by making the critical investment of reforming health care. The stakes are too high and the cost of inaction is too great.
“If we are going to start digging out of this hole, we must start by filling the hole over at HHS. And if we are going to fix our broken health care system, who is better equipped to lead that effort than Kathleen Sebelius?”