Sebelius to Insurers: Stop Hurting America

Remember when Jon Stewart went on “Crossfire” and asked the hosts to “Stop hurting America?” Remember how cathartic that was? Well, Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius just had her Jon Stewart-on-Crossfire moment:

Speaking at the annual policy conference of America’s Health Insurance Plans, a trade group, Ms. Sebelius said, “It’s not too late to work on this issue together, for insurance companies to come to the table and work with us.’’


Ms. Sebelius, a former governor and insurance commissioner in Kansas, sounded exasperated at the pace of change.

“How many years in a row can we have the same discussion over and over?’’ Ms. Sebelius asked. “How many years can we look at a marketplace which is getting more segmented and more difficult? How much pressure can be put on the remaining customers before the business model collapses of its own weight?’’

Huzzah. I know Sebelius hasn’t been the most visible supporter of health care — but it hasn’t been because she’s not out there. She’s out there. She’s just not a Washington celebrity, at least of the magnitude that I think she should be. Because Obama has taken ownership of the plan, Sebelius isn’t getting the kind of heat Tim Geithner got for the Geithner Plan, and she’ll never get the kind of attention that Hillary Clinton gets. She is, however, doing a good job in a very tough climate on very important work.

And, yeah, she used to be my governor, and my insurance commissioner.

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