Daily Video

March 3, 2009

Sebelius Chosen to Tackle Health Care

President Barack Obama nominated Kansas Governor Kathleen Sebelius to be secretary of health and human services, placing her in charge of his efforts to reform the nation’s expensive and inefficient health care system.

As the Democratic governor and former state insurance commissioner of Kansas, Governor Sebelius has been working to improve health care quality and accessibility in her home state with mixed results. President Obama chose Governor Sebelius after former Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle withdrew following reports that he failed to pay his taxes. In an address to Congress last week, President Obama promised to make health care reform a priority in the coming year, remarking that it would be essential to reviving the economy. Governor Sebelius echoed his sentiments saying, “I share your belief that we can’t fix the economy without fixing health care. The work won’t be easy, but bringing about real change rarely is.” In the first part of this video, NewsHour health correspondent Betty Ann Bowser looks at President Obama’s most recent nomination to his Cabinet.


“If we’re going to help families, save businesses, and improve the long-term economic health of our nation, we must realize that fixing what’s wrong with our health care system is no longer just a moral imperative, but a fiscal imperative.” – President Barack Obama “Health care reform that reduces costs while expanding coverage is no longer just a dream we hope to achieve. It’s a necessity we have to achieve.” – President Barack Obama “Business and labor leaders, teachers and health care providers, policymakers at the state, local, and national level, parents and children are ready to join this effort. This isn’t a partisan challenge; it’s an American challenge and one that we can’t afford to ignore.” – Governor Kathleen Sebelius, Health and Human Services secretary-designate

Warm Up Questions

1. What is the president’s Cabinet? What are some of the positions in the Cabinet?

2. Can you name some of the people that President Obama has appointed to his Cabinet?

3. What is meant by health care? What are some of the ways that Americans get health care?

Discussion Questions

1. What are some of the major issues surrounding America’s health care system?

2. Do you think that the nation’s health care system is in need of reform? Why or why not?

3. President Obama recently proposed spending over $600 billion on health care over the next 10 years. Do you think that this should be a priority for the nation? Why or why not?

4. President Obama and Governor Sebelius both believe that health care reform is an essential part of helping the economy. What are some ways that health care is connected to the economy?

Additional Resources

Read the transcript

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