HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius has canceled her plans to speak at the American Hospital Association's annual meeting on April 11, as HHS and other agencies prepare for a federal government shutdown.
Looming shutdown keeps Sebelius away from AHA meeting
The AHA sent an announcement Friday afternoon saying Sebelius canceled her public engagements for Monday “due to the current uncertainty,” and a senior administration official at HHS confirmed the potential shutdown as the reason. While federal lawmakers remain at a budget impasse to fund the government for the remainder of the fiscal year, government agencies are preparing to roll out their operating plans. The HHS official said there will be work to do come Monday, and it will be important for Sebelius to be engaged in that work.
“I think we have a good shutdown plan, and we have a pretty good idea of how to do this right,” the official said. “But we also acknowledge this hasn't happened since '96, so it's not about implementing a plan that is written, but being sure the plan is executed correctly” and also understanding there will be unforeseen issues, he added. “And to the degree they come up, will require the attention of senior officials,” he said.
CMS Administrator Dr. Donald Berwick and former U.S. Sen. Alan Simpson (R-Wyo.) are scheduled to speak at AHA's conference on Monday.
Send us a letter
Have an opinion about this story? Click here to submit a Letter to the Editor, and we may publish it in print.