Sebelius, a former Kansas governor, is weighing overtures from
Democrats who want her to run for the Senate seat occupied by
Republican Pat Roberts, the newspaper said, quoting unidentified
Democrats. It quoted one person said to have spoken directly with
Sebelius as saying that she was thinking about the idea, but it was
too soon to say how serious she was about it.
Sebelius, who announced her resignation last week, is staying on the
job until her successor, White House budget director Sylvia Mathews
Burwell, is confirmed by the Senate.
A representative of the HHS declined to comment on The New York
A run for the Senate would be a bold move in a solidly Republican
state after Sebelius oversaw the introduction last October of the
policy known as Obamacare, becoming a lightning rod for critics of
the health insurance reform law.
Republicans have made problems with the health care law, which they
view as a step towards socialized medicine, as the central theme of
their campaign to wrest control of the Senate away from Democrats
and strengthen their grip on the House of Representatives.
The New York Times said the Democrats urging Sebelius to run view
her as their best hope of winning against Roberts, 77, who has
served four terms. Her chances could improve if Roberts is defeated
in a primary election challenge by a more conservative candidate,
radiologist Milton Wolf, who is backed by the Tea Party movement.
Sebelius would have until June 2 to decide, the deadline for filing
for the primary. Before Sebelius joined the Obama administration,
she was a popular two-term Democratic governor in Kansas, re-elected
with 58 percent of the vote in 2006.
[to top of second column]
The opening of health insurance marketplaces was plagued by computer
problems that stymied access for millions of people. Eventually, the
problems were mostly remedied and 7.5 million people signed up for
coverage. Sebelius was regular fodder for jokes on late night talk
and comedy television shows for months.
In an interview with the New York Times last week, Sebelius said she
wished she could take "all the animosity" toward Obamacare with her
when she departs.
(Reporting by David Lawder and David Morgan;
editing by Grant
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