KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

Will Sebelius Stay At HHS?

CQ HealthBeat says there is little talk of her moving on but even so, four years is a long tenure in the job.

CQ HealthBeat: Health Team May Stay Steady In Key Phase Of Overhaul Implementation
There's little or no talk thus far that Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius is on her way out, particularly with the possibility that her legacy would be burnished by seeing through the job of implementing the health law if she does stay. But four years as HHS secretary is a long time. Staying through a second term would be highly unusual. "Only one HHS secretary has stayed on that long, and the job was much easier then," said a former administration official, referring to the tenure of Donna Shalala as head of HHS during the eight years of the Clinton administration. "As for Sebelius, it's hard to say," the former official adds. "She's got a helluva lot of energy and wants to see things through, so I expect she'll stay for at least part of a second term" (Reichard, 11/8).

Meanwhile, some of President Barack Obama's political advisers say the health law played a role in his re-election.

The New York Times: Don't Credit Us, Obama's Tacticians Say
But less than 48 hours after Mr. Obama clinched re-election, his aides were becoming wary that the first draft of history on the campaign was turning into a story about how smart campaign tactics had delivered victory to an embattled president rather than one about how it was all due to the president himself and his policies. ... Jim Messina, the campaign manager who oversaw the creation of the system that surprised Republicans by getting more Obama supporters to the polls than Republicans had expected, argued that the results should be viewed as vindication for the president's call for higher taxes on the rich as part of any deal to reduce the deficit. And Mr. Obama's aides noted that exit polls showed that only a minority want to see the president's health care plan entirely repealed (Rutenberg, 11/8). 

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