Sebelius Talks Health Reform, Rahm And Campaign ContributionsThe Christian Science Monitor reports on Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius' talk at a Monitor-sponsored breakfast for reporters Thursday. "Asked by Chicago Sun Times Washington Bureau Chief Lynn Sweet whether Emanuel deserved the blame for killing the so-called public option a government sponsored insurance plan Sebelius responded 'No. No. No. No.' The chief of staff's role in the fate of the public option came center stage as a result of an interview he gave to the Wall Street Journal during the battle over health-care legislation, saying the Obama administration had a goal of keeping 'private insurers honest,' but that the path to that goal was 'negotiable'" (Cook, 9/30).
Hearst News Service/Fort Worth Star-Telegram, on other comments by Sebelius: "Sebelius warned Thursday that moves by some Republican members of Congress to cut funding for the new health insurance program could jeopardize the law's implementation. She said lack of funding would also have the practical effect of forcing programs already in effect to cut benefits or drop enrollees" (Chen, 9/30).
The Boston Globe: Sebelius also decried the flow of "anonymous money" into congressional races this year. "'I really think the untold story of 2010 is not the Tea Party or not the health care bill or a number of these issues. It is the amount of money that is flowing in districts around the country, and particularly the amount of anonymous money,' Sebelius said" (Rowland, 9/30).
McClatchy: Sebelius has also been the target of growing attacks from the GOP for her bold words for insurers who have recently begun dropping child-only plans and raising insurance rates on customers. Now, a fellow Kansan, Republican Sen. Pat Roberts, is getting in on the barrage. "'Instead of admitting that their policies are causing health insurers to raise their rates,' Roberts said, 'the Obama Administration has unleashed Sebelius to intimidate and silence its critics ... by intimidation.' He accused her of attacking the First Amendment by 'threatening to shut down companies' who exercise 'free speech.' 'She's keeping a list,' the senator said. 'Some have called this gangster government in the press. As a former newspaper man, I am shocked. I am really stunned by my former governor's actions'" (Goldstein, 9/29).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.