HHS pick Sylvia Mathews Burwell questioned on health law
WASHINGTON — President Obama's nominee for health secretary drew support from Republican senators on Thursday even as they challenged the health law she would be charged with carrying out.
Sylvia Mathews Burwell defended the Affordable Care Act, asserting that it has improved the economy, held down the growth of health costs, reduced premiums and expanded coverage.
The law “is making a positive difference in the lives of our families and our communities,” Burwell, who now serves as Obama's budget director, said in testimony before the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, the first of two Senate committees that will hold hearings on her nomination to lead the Health and Human Services Department.
The top committee Republican, Sen. Lamar Alexander of Tennessee, warned her that Republicans hope to retake the Senate in November and scale back the law in numerous ways.
“Republicans would like to repair the damage Obamacare has done,” Alexander said.
But at the same time, Alexander cited Burwell's “reputation for competence,” and she was effusively introduced at the hearing by another Republican, Sen. John McCain of Arizona. Sen. Richard Burr, R-N.C., declared he plans to vote in favor of her.
The exchanges point to a smooth confirmation for Burwell, 48, even as her nomination hearings allow Republicans to focus renewed election-year attention on the unpopular health law.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- IRS calls right-wing Republicans ‘crazies’ in emails
- State Dept: ‘No American is proud’ of CIA tactics
- Law enforcement, intelligence agencies want to ‘like’ you on social media
- Tea Party opposition threatens House GOP’s border bill
- NYC police unions lose bid in stop-and-frisk case
- Flat-out ‘miracle’ spares women on railroad span
- House’s vote to sue Obama is historic foray into checks, balances
- 6 narcotics officers charged with racketeering
- Witnesses added for Benghazi hearing
- U.S. coal exports undermine clean air efforts, experts say
- Stoned volunteers test drug, alcohol effect on driving