Live from the Sebelius Confirmation Hearing

Emily Douglas

Texts live from Gov. Kathleen Sebelius's HELP Committee confirmation hearing.

I’m getting texts from Kay Steiger, who’s at Gov. Kathleen Sebelius’s
HELP Committee hearing.  Kay says there hasn’t been any mention of
reproductive health so far; all the testimony and questing has focused
on health care reform.  Sen. John McCain has asked Sebelius whether she
would support a tax credit of around $5000 instead of employer-based
insurance (I’m assuming Sebelius said no, but am checking with Kay to confirm!).  Sebelius also has now said that she supports a public
option in health care reform.

11:39am: Sen. Chris Dodd has asked about low-weight premature births.  In response, Sebelius called for increased prenantal care for "at-risk mothers."

12noon: Sen. Bob Dole testified in favor of Sebelius; he’s now leaving.  He shook hands with Dodd and Kennedy before leaving.

12:26pm: Sen. Bernie Sanders brought up his single-payer plan bill, saying "I suspect I’m in the minority."  (I don’t know how Sebelius reacted to that).  Then reproductive health issues came up: Sen. Tom Coburn wanted reassurance that RU-486, medication abortion, fell under the Hyde Amendment and Medicaid would continue not to cover it. 

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Sebelius later said that she supports conscience clauses — that the Bush version of the HHS regulation was "overly broad and overly vague" but she supports the underlying principle.

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