- The Washington Times - Saturday, February 28, 2009

President Obama has chosen Kansas Gov. Kathleen Sebelius as his nominee for Secretary of Health and Human Services — his second try at filling the post — and will make a formal announcement Monday.

A White House official confirmed the pick to The Washington Times on Saturday evening..

Mrs. Sebelius, 60, will leave the governor’s mansion in Topeka midway through her second term if she is confirmed by the Senate. Her nomination comes almost a month after former Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle withdrew from consideration for the post because of problems with his taxes.

Mrs. Sebelius is not expected to have the same expansive health policy role that had been designed for Mr. Daschle, who was set to help drive Mr. Obama’s healthcare reforms through the Congress while acting as HHS secretary and as head of a newly created White House Office of Health Reform.

Mrs. Sebelius is a former state insurance commissioner with liberal positions on social issues and a mixed fiscal record. One of the most intense pockets of opposition to her nomination may come from pro-life groups, who object to her consistent vetoes of anti-abortion legislation and to her acceptance of large political donations from an abortionist who is facing criminal charges for violating state restrictions on late-term abortions.

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