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Kansas Gov. Leading Candidate for U.S. Health Secretary

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Kansas Gov. Kathleen Sebelius is a leading candidate for the post of U.S. health and human services secretary, according to White House advisers, The New York Times reported.

Along with her eight years of experience as her state's insurance commissioner and six years experience as a governor running a state Medicaid program, Sibelius is seen as someone who can work across party lines. She's a Democrat in one of the nation's most Republican states.

This could prove vital to President Barack Obama as he turns his attention to health care next week with a plan designed to advance his ideas about covering the uninsured, the Times reported.

If she is appointed health secretary, Sibelius would be welcomed by health advocates.

She "knows health care as well as any governor in the United States," Ronald F. Pollack, executive director of the consumer group Families USA, told the Times.

Former Senator Tom Daschle was Obama's first pick for health and human services secretary, but Daschle withdrew over his failure to pay $128,000 in taxes.

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