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House Ways and Means Committee Hearing to Welcome Secretary of Dept. of Health & Human Services

Thursday, April 30, 2009   (0 Comments)
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House Ways and Means Chairman Charles B. Rangel (D-NY) announced Thursday, April 30th, that the Committee will hold a hearing to welcome the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius.  This is the fifth hearing in the series on health reform in the 111th Congress.  The hearing will take place at 10:00 a.m. on Wednesday, May 6, 2009, in the main committee hearing room, 1100 Longworth House Office Building.

In view of the limited time available to hear witnesses, oral testimony at this hearing will be from the invited witness only.  However, any individual or organization not scheduled for an oral appearance may submit a written statement for consideration by the Committee and for inclusion in the printed record of the hearing.


The U.S. spends twice as much per person for health care as any other country in the world, and yet continues to lag behind other countries in terms of coverage and quality.  There are nearly 46 million uninsured people in America, and millions more have inadequate coverage. The U.S. has lower life expectancy rates than all other industrialized countries, including Japan, Germany, Australia and Switzerland.  Lack of health insurance coverage, rising costs and lower quality are intimately intertwined. 

The uninsured crisis affects cost and quality for families with coverage, as well as those without.  A recent report from the Institute of Medicine found negative “spillover” effects that occur for people with health insurance who are in communities with a large uninsured population.  These effects for the insured include decreased access to both primary care physicians and specialists, strained emergency services, and less access to state-of-the-art treatments. Widespread lack of coverage also increases health care costs for providers, plans, and those with health insurance through cost-shifting.

President Obama has said that health care reform is both a moral and fiscal imperative.  His principles for reform and the plan he proposed during the campaign envision a uniquely American system that assures affordable, quality health care for all Americans.

This hearing will be the first post-confirmation hearing before the Congress for Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius.  

“President Obama has shown great leadership on health care reform,” said Chairman Charles B. Rangel.  “Secretary Sebelius brings enormous expertise and wisdom to the table on these issues, and I look forward to working closely with her on health care reform and other health and human services issues.”


Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius will appear before the Committee to discuss the President’s principles for health care reform.


Please Note:  Any person(s) and/or organization(s) wishing to submit for the hearing record must follow the appropriate link on the hearing page of the Committee website and complete the informational forms.  From the Committee homepage,, select “Committee Hearings”.  Select the hearing for which you would like to submit, and click on the link entitled, “Click here to provide a submission for the record.”  Once you have followed the online instructions, complete all informational forms and click “submit” on the final page. ATTACH your submission as a Word or WordPerfect document, in compliance with the formatting requirements listed below, by close of business Wednesday, May 20, 2009.  Finally, please note that due to the change in House mail policy, the U.S. Capitol Police will refuse sealed-package deliveries to all House Office Buildings.  For questions, or if you encounter technical problems, please call (202) 225-1721.


The Committee relies on electronic submissions for printing the official hearing record. As always, submissions will be included in the record according to the discretion of the Committee. The Committee will not alter the content of your submission, but we reserve the right to format it according to our guidelines. Any submission provided to the Committee by a witness, any supplementary materials submitted for the printed record, and any written comments in response to a request for written comments must conform to the guidelines listed below. Any submission or supplementary item not in compliance with these guidelines will not be printed, but will be maintained in the Committee files for review and use by the Committee.

1.   All submissions and supplementary materials must be provided in Word or WordPerfect format and MUST NOT exceed a total of 10 pages, including attachments.  Witnesses and submitters are advised that the Committee relies on electronic submissions for printing the official hearing record.

 2.  Copies of whole documents submitted as exhibit material will not be accepted for printing.  Instead, exhibit material should be referenced and quoted or paraphrased.  All exhibit material not meeting these specifications will be maintained in the Committee files for review and use by the Committee.

3.  All submissions must include a list of all clients, persons, and/or organizations on whose behalf the witness appears.  A supplemental sheet must accompany each submission listing the name, company, address, telephone, and fax numbers of each witness.


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