Love fest for HHS nominee, first sign GOP folding on Obamacare?

Last week, the US Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee held a hearing on Sylvia Burwell's, current head of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), nomination to replace Kathleen Sibelius as head of Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).

When Burwell was first nominated, some Republicans promised to use her confirmation as an opportunity to highlight the continuing problems surrounding Obamacare. Since HHS also oversees Medicare, Medicaid, and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), among other agencies, there are a number of important issues she should have been asked. For example, does she support the FDA's war on raw milk?  She should also have been asked what steps she will take to protect Americans' private health care data?  It would also have been interesting to hear her thoughts on the organ donation system.

Burwell should also answer why she helped remove veterans form the World War Two Memorial as part of the Administration's "shut down" theater.

Sadly, Republican Senators passed on the opportunity to ask Burwell any "tough" questions, or even use the nomination as an opportunity to highlight Obamacare’s many problems. Instead, the hearing was a bipartisan love fest. This is a sign that those concerned establishment Republicans are giving up the fight to repeal Obamacare may be right to worry.

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