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Sec. Kathleen Sebelius
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Kathleen Sebelius was sworn in as the 21st Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) on April 28, 2009. As Secretary, she leads the principal agency charged with keeping Americans healthy, ensuring they get the health care they need, and providing children, families, and seniors with the essential human services they depend on. She also oversees one of the largest civilian departments in the federal government, with nearly 80,000 employees.

Since taking office, Secretary Sebelius has been a leader on some of the Obama administration’s top priorities. As the country’s highest-ranking health official, she played a key role in the passage of the historic Affordable Care Act and is now leading its implementation. She also coordinated the response to the 2009 H1N1 flu virus. And under her leadership, HHS has provided a wide range of services from health care to child care to energy assistance to help families weather the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression.

Secretary Sebelius has answered President Obama’s call to form partnerships across government to improve the lives of Americans. She is the Co-Chair, with Secretary Vilsack, of the President’s Food Safety Working Group. With Attorney General Holder, she chairs the new Health Care Fraud Prevention and Action Team (HEAT). She has teamed up with Secretary Duncan improve early childhood education. And as part of President Obama’s “Year of Community Living,” she is working with Housing and Urban Development Secretary Donovan to improve the lives of seniors and people with disabilities who wish to live at home.

Secretary Sebelius has been a leader on health care, family, and senior issues for over 20 years. As Governor of Kansas from 2003 to 2009, she fought to create jobs, improve access to affordable health care, and give every Kansas child a quality education. In 2005, Time magazine recognized her achievements by naming her one of America’s Top Five Governors.

Before being elected Governor, she served from 1995 to 2003 as the first Democrat to be elected Kansas Insurance Commissioner. In that role, she was recognized as a strong advocate for consumers while streamlining the Department’s budget. For her efforts, Governing Magazine selected her as their Public Official of the Year for 2000. Prior to her service as Insurance Commissioner, she was a member of the Kansas House of Representatives from 1987 to 1995.

Secretary Sebelius is the first daughter of a governor to be elected governor in American history. She holds a Master of Public Administration degree from the University of Kansas and a Bachelor of Arts degree from Trinity Washington University. She is married to Gary Sebelius, a federal magistrate judge. They have two sons, Ned and John.

Entries by Sec. Kathleen Sebelius

Latinos and the Affordable Care Act: One Step Closer to the American Dream

(6) Comments | Posted March 26, 2014 | 7:12 PM

What do Latinos want? That seems to be the question increasingly asked by corporations, the media, elected officials and others. As Latino population numbers, political power and cultural influence grow, everyone seems to want to know what matters most to this community.

The truth is simpler than it seems. Latino...

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This March Madness, Don't Bet on Your Health

(1) Comments | Posted March 20, 2014 | 3:22 PM

Co-authored by Governor Steve Beshear

With March Madness upon us, fans in Kansas and Kentucky - and all across the country - are gearing up to watch our teams play. And as big basketball fans, of course we're excited to see the Kansas Jayhawks face off against Eastern Kentucky's Colonels,...

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Challenges and Progress: Black History Month and Affordable Health Care

(7) Comments | Posted February 4, 2014 | 3:04 PM

We celebrate Black History Month against the backdrop of some tremendous progress, but also some very significant challenges.

As we join with President Obama in making 2014 a Year of Action, I want to take this opportunity to invite you to join in a Google Hangout on...

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HHS Shares Tips for Consumers Visiting HealthCare.Gov

(2) Comments | Posted November 29, 2013 | 10:41 AM

As we continue working around the clock to improve HealthCare.gov and the holiday shopping season kicks into gear, we wanted to share some consumer friendly tips for individuals looking for quality affordable health insurance.

  • Shop HealthCare.gov during off-peak hours (mornings/nights/weekends).
  • Have your income and tax information...
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From the Battlefield to the Health Care Field: Veterans' Experience

(1) Comments | Posted November 22, 2013 | 1:35 PM

I'd like to introduce you to Dr. Mary Wakefield, Administrator of the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). Dr. Wakefield has an important message to share with you about the Health Resources Services Administration's commitment to advance veterans' employment opportunities...

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4 Ways to Apply for Coverage on the Health Insurance Marketplace

(279) Comments | Posted October 21, 2013 | 12:41 PM

It has been three weeks since the start of the new Health Insurance Marketplace, where Americans, regardless of income or health status, can find quality, affordable health coverage. The launch of the Marketplace website, HealthCare.gov, has been rocky but we are working tirelessly to make the online process better.

And...

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Obamacare and LGBT Health

(54) Comments | Posted September 17, 2013 | 12:00 PM

Throughout the administration, we operate on the fundamental belief that every American deserves equal opportunity, equal protection, and equal rights under the law. That's why the Affordable Care Act is so important for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) Americans.

The health care law prevents health insurance companies from charging...

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Improving the Public's Health Through the Affordable Care Act

(58) Comments | Posted September 11, 2013 | 11:40 AM

With the leadership of our partners in prevention and public health and with implementation of the Affordable Care Act, the Obama administration is helping to ensure every American has the opportunity to be healthy because we know that the nation's public health affects and connects us all.

Yesterday, the...

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Invest in Yourself, Get Coverage

(104) Comments | Posted August 27, 2013 | 12:25 PM

Long before President Obama asked us to serve in his Cabinet, both of us played on our college basketball teams. In those days we didn't think all that much about whether we might get injured on (or off) the court. But we had peace of mind in knowing that if...

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Our 'Fierce Urgency of Now'

(0) Comments | Posted August 26, 2013 | 4:39 PM

When Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. spoke at the March on Washington, he described a "fierce urgency of now." He reminded a divided nation that we need one another, and that we are stronger when we march forward, together. "We cannot walk alone," he said. "And as we walk, we...

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What the Affordable Care Act Means to Communities of Color

(1) Comments | Posted August 21, 2013 | 10:41 AM

I'd like to introduce you to Dr. J. Nadine Gracia, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Minority Health and the Director of the Office of Minority Health at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Dr. Gracia has an important message to share with you on what the Affordable...

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The Numbers Are In: Sequestration Cuts 57,000 Kids From Head Start

(239) Comments | Posted August 19, 2013 | 12:04 PM

You may have seen them today: empty chairs sitting outside local Head Start centers. Each chair represents a child whose place at that center has been cut -- a child whose future may now be in jeopardy.

For many young children in this country, the road to a better...

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LGBT Equality Means a Commitment to Health

(1) Comments | Posted August 1, 2013 | 2:41 PM

I'd like to introduce you to Matthew G. Heinz, MD, Director of LGBT Outreach for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Matt has an important message to tell you about the work that HHS is doing to improve the health and well-being of LGBT Americans.

This is Matt's...

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Proposed Cuts Undermine Indian Health, Public Health and Scientific Research

(13) Comments | Posted July 31, 2013 | 8:33 AM

Please welcome HHS Deputy Secretary Bill Corr to this space, who summarizes below the severe impact that proposed cuts in the Interior, Environment and Related Agencies appropriations bill will have on several HHS agencies, most significantly the Indian Health Service.

Today, the House Appropriations Committee is considering a Fiscal Year...

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Strengthening Medicare and Medicaid Today and for Tomorrow

(91) Comments | Posted July 30, 2013 | 1:02 PM

A version of this blog post was originally posted on AARP.

My 92-year-old father first ran for public office after he finished his military service in World War II. He served on the city council, and later was elected to Congress. In 1965, he helped write and voted...

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The HIV Care Continuum Initiative: The Next Step of the National HIV/AIDS Strategy

(6) Comments | Posted July 15, 2013 | 12:25 PM

Three years ago, President Obama announced an historic comprehensive plan to help turn the tide on HIV/AIDS in the United States: the National HIV/AIDS Strategy. The Strategy has given a new sense of direction, and purpose in our fight against HIV and AIDS.

Since the Strategy's release,...

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Helping Victims of Childhood Trauma Heal and Recover

(12) Comments | Posted July 11, 2013 | 11:49 AM

Far too many children -- especially those known to the child welfare system -- have experienced trauma related to neglect, exposure to violence, physical and sexual abuse, and psychological maltreatment. Rates of trauma exposure, for example, are approximately 90 percent among children in foster care. But despite the amazing work...

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4 Ways to Stay Healthy on the Fourth of July

(22) Comments | Posted July 3, 2013 | 5:53 PM

As we celebrate Independence Day, it is important to remember that the health care law gives you independence to choose a plan that meets your needs in the Health Insurance Marketplace, protects you from being locked out of coverage due to a pre-existing condition, and frees...

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Improving Health for LGBT Americans

(14) Comments | Posted June 26, 2013 | 2:06 PM

I'd like to introduce you to Jason Young, who serves as the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Public Affairs/Health Care for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Jason has an important message to tell you about how the Affordable Care Act is protecting LGBT Americans' rights to access quality...

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Get Ready for the Health Insurance Marketplace

(142) Comments | Posted June 24, 2013 | 7:03 AM

This is an historic time for millions of Americans who don't have health insurance or need better and more affordable options. The opportunity to get affordable, quality health coverage will soon be a reality.

I'm delighted to announce some exciting new steps in our continuing efforts to extend coverage to...

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