KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

Sylvia Mathews Burwell: Obama’s Likely Choice To Take Over The HHS Top Spot

Burwell is currently the director of the White House Office of Management and Budget. Her experience includes budget oversight for the major entitlement programs, like Medicare and Medicaid.

The New York Times: Budget Chief Is Obama’s Choice As New Health Secretary
On Friday, President Obama is to nominate Ms. Burwell, currently director of the White House Office of Management and Budget, to take over one of the largest and most unwieldy parts of the federal bureaucracy as secretary of health and human services. If confirmed, Ms. Burwell would replace Kathleen Sebelius, who is resigning (Shear, 4/10).

The Washington Post’s Wonkblog: Meet The Nominee To Lead HHS
Sylvia Mathews Burwell is about to become the biggest name in health care after news broke Thursday night that she will be the nominee to replace the resigning Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius. … Burwell has extensive administration experience that includes budget oversight for major entitlement programs, like Medicare and Medicaid. Last summer, Burwell and White House chief of staff Denis McDonough led negotiations with a group of Senate Republicans who hoped to forge a grand bargain with the administration to raise taxes and rein in spending on health and retirement programs (Millman, 4/10).

Politico: Sylvia Mathews Burwell’s Next Marathon
Intentionally or not, Burwell, who served every single day of the Clinton administration, now finds herself facing another test of endurance and determination: replacing Kathleen Sebelius as secretary of Health and Human Services, the department responsible for implementing Obamacare, in a midterm election year (White and Epstein, 4/10).

The Wall Street Journal: Who Is Sylvia Burwell, HHS Secretary Sebelius’ Expected Replacement
Ms. Burwell, a veteran of the Clinton White House and Treasury Department who has held senior roles at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the Walmart Foundation, will face close scrutiny because the agency she has been tapped to run oversees some of the most polarizing and expensive parts of the federal budget. A senior administration official said Ms. Burwell, 48 years old, was the only person Mr. Obama considered, saying he placed a premium on her management skills, which was one thing he wanted in Mrs. Sebelius' replacement (Paletta, 4/10).

Politico: Sylvia Mathews Burwell’s Hurdles
Burwell is going to have to make fast allies on Capitol Hill, but don’t count on outgoing Secretary Kathleen Sebelius to leave her any pointers. The former Kansas governor didn’t have any public friends within the GOP — a problem stemming from the intense politics around Obamacare and Republicans’ feelings that the secretary didn’t try to work with them (Haberkorn, 4/10).

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