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  • A Sebelius HHS Preview: Runaway Costs and More Washington Control

    Kansas Governor Kathleen Sebelius (D-KS)

    Kansas Gov. Kathleen Sebelius (D-KS) has emerged as a leading contender to become the next secretary of the Health and Human Services department. Flint Hills Center for Public Policy senior fellow Gregory Schneider previews what a Sebelius HHS might look like:

    For one thing, she is an able bureaucrat, presiding over the creation of the massive, yet ineffective, health reform agency, the Kansas Health Policy Authority (KHPA) which came into existence in 2006. KHPA has been an advocate of expanded government health care and more Medicaid … With a friend like her at HHS, one may suspect the forces of government health care will expand their reach. Washington will dictate more to the states, which have been laboratories for reform (at least those states headed by governors amenable to reforms which aren’t defined as bailouts from Congress).

    But after four years of the KHPA what has changed in Kansas health care? Not much. Medicaid is still a mess. The fiscal health of the government-funded health system in the state is helping to drag down the budget and it will only get worse with the massive infusion of cash–some $112 million additional coming from the House stimulus. There has been no substantial effort made by the KHPA, and by extension, the governor, to address the fundamental problems in Kansas health care–cost of care and continued inadequacies in the Medicaid system. Their major proposals last year, such as premium assistance and other reforms contained in SB 11, were blocked by the Legislature; their proposals this year–a smoking ban and tobacco taxes to fund expanded health care spending, may not pass either.

    Instead, Sebelius has discussed how vital it is for Kansas to get the additional monies coming from the federal government. Kansas, she claims, needs the money to expand Medicaid eligibility; whether that is a wise idea given the fiscal straits Kansas and the nation are in at the moment, or whether it is sustainable for future generations, is beside the point. There is never any discussion of reforming Medicaid, or helping move people from government insurance to private insurance.

    If Sebelius gets the HHS job, she will fit right in with the climate of big spending inside the beltway, something she learned on the job here in Kansas. If it turns out she doesn’t get the job, the Topeka beltway government health gravy train will roll on with the stimulus adding millions to the coffers.

    Posted in Obamacare [slideshow_deploy]

    6 Responses to A Sebelius HHS Preview: Runaway Costs and More Washington Control

    1. Ozzy6900, CT says:

      Gov. Kathleen Sebelius has the perfect credentials to head the job! A Democrat, a Liberal, and experienced in failing her constituents. What more could we ask for? If she cheated on her taxes, she is a shoe-in!

    2. John Collins, NYC says:

      Governor Sebelius would a great choice for HHS Secretary. She's knowledgeable, respected, experienced, and about as bi-partisan as it gets. As the Democratic Governor of a deeply red state, Sebelius knows how to work with Republicans, and is respected by most from that party.

    3. Pingback: Sebelius At HHS? « 36 Chambers - The Legendary Journeys: Execution to the max!

    4. Craig, Albuquerque says:

      I only have one word for Obama's attempt to nationalize healthcare….MDVIP. Leave it to a bunch of Doctors to figure a way around taking on the massive amounts of patients who will be added to the health care rolls. And, do so in the process of giving themselves a raise…brilliant. Let's see how the Obama team handles this 180 by some pretty smart Doctors. Check it out on Google…MDVIP. Hope you have the $1,800 annual fee. When you look at their web site check out the liberal States being targeted. Once again, the average Joe takes a hit due to social engineering attempts by our Uncle Sam.

    5. Angela Kreps, Lenexa says:

      Sebelius’ unwavering support of the bioscience industry in Kansas has amassed significant wins for our region, and we can reasonably expect her continued support in Washington, D.C.

      #1 – In 2004, she signed the Kansas Economic Growth Act which created one of the nation’s largest state-sponsored investment funds solely dedicated to our burgeoning bioscience industry.

      #2 – KEGA created the Kansas Bioscience Authority which, with Sebelius’ unyielding support, leads the state’s bioscience investment portfolio. Four short years later, Kansas is now recognized as a Top 10 state in biotechnology alongside California, Illinois and Massachusetts.

      #3 – She put partisanship aside to lure the National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility (NBAF), a $650 million federal research facility, to Manhattan. She solicited support from other governors, Republicans and Democrats. She named a Republican, U.S. Senator Pat Roberts, as the Honorary Chairman and encouraged state Republican and Democratic leadership to introduce and pass a $105 million NBAF bond.

      #4 – Sebelius has long endorsed the quest for National Cancer Institute (NCI) comprehensive cancer center designation at the University of Kansas. As head of HHS, Sebelius would oversee the agency (NIH) that provides substantial funding for NCI designated cancer centers. The NIH also has programs which fund research in drug discovery and clinical research, both of which are integral components of the KU Cancer Center plan.

      Secretary of HHS is the perfect job for Kathleen Sebelius. Her commitment to our industry, paired with her knowledge of our region’s assets and her clear track record of bipartisanship, gives the bioscience community hope when we need it most.

    6. roger duckett says:

      as a govenor

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