President Obama has announced his new pick for Secretary of Health and Human Services.
The candidate, Kansas Gov. Kathleen Sebelius, served two terms as a state insurance commissioner, and was previously the president of the National Association of Insurance Commissioners.
Sebelius is the second candidate to be nominated for the position. Obama’s initial choice, former Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle, withdrew his nomination after it was discovered that he owed more than $140,000 in back taxes.
The president praised Sebelius’ career, applauding her for drafting a proposed national bill of rights for patients, refusing campaign contributions from insurance companies, and blocking a takeover of Kansas’s largest insurer, a move that helped keep premiums low.
Obama also heralded Sebelius’ experience in coming to bipartisan solutions for reform.
In order to fix the health care system, Obama said it is necessary to have “a commitment to reform that focuses not on Democrat ideas or Republican ideas, but on ideas that work to rein in costs, expand access, and improve the quality of health care for the American people.”