WASHINGTON (CNN) – Administration officials say President Obama is expected to name Nancy Ann Min DeParle as his new director of the White House office on health reform this afternoon. The announcement is expected to come at the same East Room event where the president will name Kansas Gov. Kathleen Sebelius as Secretary of Health and Human Services.
DeParle's position, also referred to as White House health care czar, was initially to be filled by Obama's first HHS pick, former Senator Tom Daschle. DeParle would work with Sebelius as the President's point person to coordinate the administration's outreach to Congress regarding health care reform. It is not a cabinet position, but considered a key post.
Daschle was to hold both positions as someone who had health care expertise, and a former Senate Majority Leader with the Washington know-how to maneuver Obama's ambitious health care agenda through Congress, before tax problems derailed his nomination and he withdrew.
DeParle is a managing director at CCMO Capital, a private-equity firm. She is a member of the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (medPAC), a group that advises Congress on Medicare payment and policy issues. She previously served a top health official in the Clinton administration.
Obama administration officials say the health care czar position will be similar to the role Hillary Clinton played when, as First Lady, she attempted to overhaul the nation’s health care system.
WASHINGTON (CNN) –President Barack Obama on Saturday asked Kansas Gov. Kathleen Sebelius to be his nominee for Health and Human Services secretary, according to two White House officials.
The officials told CNN that Obama is expected to make the announcement Monday afternoon. The officials asked not to be named because the announcement has not yet been made.
WASHINGTON (CNN) – In a sign that she is getting a close look for Secretary of Health and Human Services, Kansas Gov. Kathleen Sebelius recently met with senior White House adviser Valerie Jarrett, according to two Obama administration officials.
Sebelius has a good personal relationship with the President and remained in the running for the vice presidential slot until near the end of the process, the officials also told CNN.
But the officials cautioned that President Obama is considering others for HHS as well. Those getting a look include Oregon Democrat Sen. Ron Wyden and Tennessee’s Democratic Gov. Phil Bredesen, according to the officials.
White House spokesman Reid Cherlin stressed to CNN that "no decision has been made." But Cherlin added the President "is moving quickly in filling this critical role."
The President's first nominee for the post, former Sen. Tom Daschle, stepped aside after questions were raised about his failure to pay more than $100,000 in taxes for consulting fees and the use of a car and driver.
(CNN) – Cross one name off the short list of possible contenders to be the next commerce secretary in the incoming administration. Chicago businesswoman Penny Pritzker, who headed the unprecedented fundraising operation of President-elect Barack Obama’s campaign, told CNN Thursday she is not in the running for the key post.
Here’s CNN’s list of possible contenders to head Obama’s Commerce Department:
GOV. KATHLEEN SEBELIUS: The Kansas Democrat was a loyal backer and surrogate for Obama during the general election campaign.
AUSTAN GOOLSBEE: The University of Chicago economics professor was an economic adviser to the Obama’s presidential campaign.
LEON PANETTA: The Democratic power player was Bill Clinton’s chief of staff from 1993 to 1997.
RICHARD PARSONS: The former CEO of Time Warner, CNN’s parent company, is currently Chairman of Time Warner’s Board of Directors.
DR. LAURA TYSON: The Clinton administration veteran is a professor at the University of California at Berkeley’s Hass School of Business. She is also an economic adviser to President-elect Obama.
Click here for additional CNN short lists for Obama’s potential cabinet.
(CNN) - With the vice presidential selection process perhaps nearing its end, Gov. Kathleen Sebelius, D-Kansas, appeared with a high profile Republican guest Wednesday.
Sebelius, thought to be a possible choice as Barack Obama’s running mate, introduced T. Boone Pickens at a town hall in Topeka that focused on his new energy plan.
“We have a crisis in America, no question,” the Democratic governor told the crowd, “It’s pretty simple to understand. We’re borrowing money from China to import 70 percent of oil, much of it from nations that don’t like us very much. And when we burn it, it harms out planet. Now, if that doesn’t seem like a lose-lose-lose situation to you.”
Pushing the Pickens proposal, Sebelius said, “I think we’re right in the middle of a big hole..when you’re in a hole, you stop digging.”
Pickens is calling for an investment plan to make wind and natural gas the main sources of energy in the United States. He told The Hill this week, “I’ll vote for McCain. But I’m not working on his campaign….I don’t see a plan by either Obama or McCain that is going to solve the $700 billion problem. Neither one of them address that.”
But he had words of praise for Sebelius, saying, “you know it, but you have a fabulous governor. Smart, working for Kansas, and highly intelligent.”