Obama HHS nominee gets first turn before senators

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press
President Barack Obama

This March 25, 2014, photo shows part of the website for HealthCare.gov as photographed in Washington. If you�re waiting until the last minute to sign up for coverage under President Barack Obama�s health care law, a little extra patience might come in handy. HealthCare.gov, the online portal to taxpayer-subsidized health insurance, runs slowly when compared with major private health insurer websites. That�s according to an analysis for The Associated Press by Compuware, a Detroit company that measures website performance. (AP Photo/Jon Elswick)

WASHINGTON President Barack Obama's nominee to take over the federal health care agency - and assume responsibility for his health care overhaul - is about to face senators who will help decide her confirmation.

Sylvia Mathews Burwell appears Thursday before the Senate Health Committee, the first of two Senate committees that will hold hearings on her nomination.

Burwell is Obama's choice to replace Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, who resigned last month after presiding over the passage of the health law and the disastrous rollout of the federal enrollment website. Sebelius left just as the law began to recover with stronger-than-expected sign-up numbers.

Burwell is seen as a safe choice, not least because she was unanimously confirmed by the Senate as Obama's budget director last year.

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