New York Times is reporting that Governor Kathleen Sebelius of the
midwestern U.S. state of Kansas has emerged as President Barack Obama's
top choice as secretary of Health and Human Services.
A story in
Thursday's edition of the newspaper says the White House believes the
Democratic governor's ability to work with her state's
Republican-controlled legislature is an asset, as Mr. Obama begins a
drive to expand health care.
The Times says the president is
planning to turn his attention to health care now that he has signed
his economic stimulus plan into law.
Before becoming governor
in 2003, Sebelius spent eight years as the state's insurance
commissioner, which included running the state's Medicaid program, the
joint federal-state health care plan for the poor and disabled.
was one of the earliest supporters of Mr. Obama's presidential
campaign, and was mentioned as a possible vice presidential running
Mr. Obama's initial nominee for the post, former Senate
Democratic Leader Tom Daschle, withdrew his nomination amid controversy
over his late payment of $128,000 in back income taxes.