The Corner

Sebelius Passes Finance

Just a note: Earlier today, in the middle of questioning witnesses in a highly technical hearing on overhauling the health care system, the Senate Finance Committee put its stamp of approval, 15-8, on the nomination of Kansas Gov. Kathleen Sebelius (D) for Secretary of Health and Human Services.

Sebelius’s relationship with abortionist George Tiller was mentioned, but Sen. Jon Kyl (R, Ariz.) also based his “no” vote in part on Sebelius’s answers on what is known as “Competitive Effectiveness Research” (CER). Kyl expressed concern that the research, which is designed to identify the most effective medical practices and eliminate ineffective ones (or, possibly, cost-ineffective ones), could be used to ration health care. He said that Sebelius had not answered clearly in opposition to such rationing in her written responses to the panel’s questions.

CER is a complicated topic. Cato’s Michael Cannon, who supports such research but opposes government funding for it, wrote about it here in January.

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