Posted on 03 Mar 2009
National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) Chief Executive Officer Dr. Therese M. (Terri) Vaughan today issued the following statement in support of President Barack Obama's nomination of Kansas Governor Kathleen Sebelius as Health and Human Services Secretary:
“President Obama’s choice of Governor Sebelius for Health and Human Services Secretary shows his acumen and dedication to solving the health care issues facing Americans today.
“As a former insurance commissioner, she is the ideal choice. As governor and commissioner, her strong history of consumer protection provides unique insight in to not only the challenges they face, but also the issues the state insurance departments are navigating.
“As the front line of defense for consumers, the state insurance regulators are the advocates for those trying to pay for health care. They understand how the marketplace works and are regularly consulted by their governors, state legislators and federal representatives because of their hands-on experience.
“For eight years, Governor Sebelius protected insurance consumers in Kansas. That consumer protection extended across the nation with her participation at the NAIC, as chair of its Health Insurance Committee and as President of the organization in 2001. In those capacities, she took a lead role in developing NAIC policies around health insurance. She was active nationally in the implementation of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act. She also worked with multiple state commissioners in a variety of markets to develop NAIC recommendations around the issues.
“I was lucky enough to work with Kathleen during her eight years as commissioner, including as NAIC Vice-President during her term as President. I have always been impressed with her understanding of insurance markets locally and nationally. I watched as she forged consensus on difficult issues, always carefully weighing the needs of the industry to the needs of the consumers. I can’t imagine a better choice. My colleagues at the NAIC and I look forward to working with the future Secretary on the difficult health insurance issues facing American consumers.”