Monday, March 02, 2009

Women to lead health care reform

Today's announcement of President Obama's nomination of Kansas Gov. Kathleen Sebelius to lead the Department of Health and Human Services; and Nancy-Ann DeParle, former director of the Health Care Finance Administration, as the White House point person on health care reform.

For several months now, right-wing groups have been using a potential Sebelius nomination as fundraising fodder. The pro-choice Catholic governor is particularly reviled by the right for her role in helping to defeat former Kansas Attorney General Phill Kline, who subpoenaed the medical records of some 90 women who had gotten abortions at the clinic of Dr. George Tiller, whom Kline dogged with allegations of performing illegal abortions. Firedoglake has that story. Here's a snip:

Kline was challenged for the Attorney General spot in 2006 by Paul Morrison. Sebelius helped recruit Morrison from the GOP to run against Kline, and Morrison received financial support from Tiller's PAC, which according to Novak and the forced birthers is sign of a -- you guessed it, grand conspiracy. The fact that even the Kansas GOP wants little to do with Kline doesn't really enter into the narrative -- after his defeat by Morrison he went on to replace Morrison as district attorney in Johnson County, taking the Planned Parenthood patient records with him. But he was defeated by another Republican, Steve Howe, who got 60% of the vote in a primary in January 2008.

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