KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

Confirmation Hearings Begin For Obama’s Pick To Head HHS

Today the first of two scheduled hearings will take place for Sylvia Mathews Burwell. Though she is expected to be confirmed as the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services, she is also expected to face some tough questions about the health law.   

The New York Times: Confirmation Hearings Loom For Health Services Nominee
Sylvia Mathews Burwell, President Obama’s nominee for secretary of health and human services, will undergo the first of two Senate confirmation hearings on Thursday, with lawmakers from both parties hoping she can improve relations between the administration and Congress on health care. Ms. Burwell, 48, a native of Hinton, W.Va., is to be introduced by the state’s senior senator, Jay Rockefeller, a Democrat. Democrats said they hoped she would also be introduced by Senator John McCain, Republican of Arizona, who has described her as “an excellent choice” to be health secretary (Pear, 5/8).

The Associated Press: Obama HHS Nominee Gets First Turn Before Senators
Sylvia Mathews Burwell was to testify Thursday before the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, the first of two Senate committees that will hold hearings on her nomination. Burwell is Obama’s choice to replace Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, who resigned last month after presiding over the passage of the health law and the disastrous rollout of the federal enrollment website. Sebelius left just as the law had begun to recover with stronger-than-expected sign-up numbers (5/8).

Politico: Questions Sylvia Mathews Burwell Will Face On Obamacare
The White House’s new pick to run Obamacare will kick off her confirmation battle Thursday with the first of two grillings from Senate Republicans. Sylvia Mathews Burwell has a very strong chance of getting confirmed with strong support of Senate Democrats and even some Republicans who have indicated that they could vote for her, barring a significant gaffe or a skeleton discovered in her close (Haberkorn, 5/7).

CBS News: Kathleen Sebelius' Replacement To Face Tough Obamacare Questions
Before the Senate confirms Sylvia Mathews Burwell to take the helm of the Health and Human Services (HHS) Department, lawmakers are sure to have tough questions for her. On Thursday, when she appears before the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee, Burwell will find out whether those questions will focus on the partisan controversies surrounding Obamacare or more substantive policy matters. She's likely to get a taste of both (Condon, 5/8).

Marketplace: What Would You Ask About Obamacare?
President Barack Obama's pick to lead the Department of Health and Human Services appears before the U.S. Senate on Thursday. Sylvia Burwell's nomination will be considered by the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions. There will be plenty of political questions about the future of Obamacare. But what questions would healthcare executives and policy wonks want to ask? We got in touch with a few to find out (Gorenstein, 5/8).

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