Sebelius faces tough questions on healthcare during confirmation hearing for HHS post
"There is an interest in not taking any tools off the table prematurely but being very dedicated to a bipartisan process and a bipartisan bill," Sebelius told members of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, when asked about the controversial reconciliation process.
Sen. Mike Enzi (R-WY), who led the governor down that line of questioning, likened the use of reconciliation in passing healthcare to a declaration of war, reports Politico.com. The reconciliation process would reduce the number of Senate votes needed to pass a measure from 60 to 51, which would give Democrats, who currently hold a 58-seat majority, an advantage in passing their own legislation. Republicans generally oppose the idea.
Sebelius was also grilled on her support for a public insurance plan. Former presidential hopeful and still-Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) framed the proposition as a "government-run health insurance plan," while the governor endorsed a public option in conjunction and competition with private health insurance plans. Sebelius is President Obama's second pick for secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services.