Obama’s pick for health secretary brings wealth of government expertise, bipartisan esteem

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WASHINGTON – President Barack Obama’s new pick to run the department that oversees the nation’s health care would bring significant expertise in economics and government management to one of Washington’s toughest jobs. But Sylvia Mathews Burwell has little experience in the health care industry.

Obama on Friday nominated Burwell to replace Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius. He’s choosing a veteran technocrat who both parties say is up to the challenge of running a $1-trillion bureaucracy.

If confirmed, she’ll inherit a beleaguered agency seeking to put behind the tumultuous rollout of Obama’s health care law.

The Senate confirmed her unanimously for her current job as Obama’s budget director. Republicans have generally praised Burwell but are eager to re-litigate Obama’s health care law in public settings ahead of the midterm elections.

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