Blog: Sebelius hardly staying mum

Coming off a historic slapdown by the government’s nonpartisan ethics watchdog over a recent political speech, HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius hopped right back into the political fray this week.

Sebelius spoke Wednesday to a Washington gathering of the National Hispanic Council on Aging just a few weeks after the independent U.S. Office of Special Counsel found she violated federal law. The office cited her “extemporaneous partisan remarks” delivered during a February speech in which Sebelius was acting in her official capacity as head of HHS. It was the first such finding against a senior administration official since 2007.

This week, Sebelius stayed clear of the explicit advocacy for President Barack Obama’s re-election that got her in trouble.

Instead she hailed popular healthcare initiatives by the Obama administration and fired a few healthcare broadsides into Republicans.

“They passed a budget that would turn Medicaid into a block grant program, which means no guaranteed benefits for any population, and slashes funds by $750 billion over the next 10 years,” Sebelius said.

Sebelius also intoned what has become Democrats’ election-year mantra: That Republicans would “end Medicare as we know it.”

And instead of exhorting her audience to vote for her boss, Sebelius took the politically sensitive approach of urging their support “to protect” Medicare.

“By working together, we can continue to honor this commitment, not only for this generation but for generations to come,” she said.

You can follow Rich Daly on Twitter @MHRDaly.



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