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Congresswoman Donna Christensen statement on recent nominations



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Congresswoman Donna Christensen, Chair of the CBC Health Braintrust, Congratulates Kansas Governor Kathleen Sebelius and Nancy-Ann DeParle  on Recent Nominations

Tuesday, March 3rd 2009

Contact: Monique Clendinen (202) 225-1790

Congresswoman Donna Christensen, Chair of the CBC Health Braintrust, offers congratulations to both Kansas Governor Kathleen Sebelius and Ms. Nancy-Ann DeParle, who accepted President Obama's request to serve as the next Secretary of Health and Human Services and Counselor and Director of the White House Office for Health Reform, respectively.

“I want to sincerely congratulate Governor Sebelius and Ms. DeParle for these great honors and for having the leadership, courage and dedication to the health and well being of all Americans to accept these challenging roles,” stated Congresswoman Christensen, a physician.  “To assume the helm of such a pivotal department and to direct a new White House Office at a time when our health care system is in urgent need of reform, when so many people of color lag behind on every health and wellness indicator, and continue to die prematurely from often preventable causes, are brave steps and ones that I applaud.” 

Governor Sebelius has impressive experience and a breadth of health policy knowledge as a former state insurance commissioner and as someone who oversaw the Medicaid program for the low-income population in Kansas during her tenure as Governor.  A sign as a woman ahead of her time, yet a woman who will complement the positive direction that this nation has taken with regards to health and health care, Governor Sebelius tried – unsuccessfully – to expand health coverage in the state through higher cigarette taxes, but successfully managed to add tens of thousands of low-income children to state health programs.

Like Governor Sebelius, Ms. DeParle also boasts substantive health and health care expertise.  Ms. DeParle served as the Tennessee health commissioner and managed the Medicaid and Medicare programs in the Clinton Administration. 

“I look forward to working with Governor Sebelius and Ms. DeParle on health care reform, on reauthorizing and instituting key health programs and initiatives and supporting the department and office in every way possible,” noted Congresswoman Christensen.  “Given their collective dedication to and record of success at closing gaps in health care, I especially welcome the opportunity to work with them to ensure that health disparity elimination and achieving health equity are integral elements of our nation’s health care reform platform.”


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