Today, in a vote of 15-8, the Senate Finance Committee, approved Gov. Kathleen Sebelius to head the Department of Health and Human Services.
Just before the vote, Sen. Jon Kyl (R-AZ) explained that he could not support Sebelius’ nomination because she did not rule-out using comparative effectiveness to “support the allocation of health resources”:
The acting director said this in a very recent project description, and I quote, cost-effectiveness research will provide accurate and objective information to guide future policy that is support the allocation of health resources for the treatment of acute and chronic conditions, end quote. Allocation of health resources is, of course, a euphemism for denying care based on cost, and yet Governor Sebelius would not agree to pull this project. I believe in the right of every American to choose the doctor, the hospital, the health care plan of his or her choice, and that no Washington bureaucrat should interfere with that right or substitute the government’s judgment for that of a physician. And I will oppose governor Sebelius’ nomination because of her insufficient commitment to these principles.
Sens. Chuck Grassely (R-IA), Orrin Hatch (R-UT), Jim Bunning (R-KY), Mike Crapo (R-ID), John Ensign (R-NV), Mike Enzi (R-WY), John Cornyn (R-TX) also voted against Sebelius’ nomination.