Se­be­lius’ Ge­orge­town ker­fuf­fle

Modern Healthcare - - OUTLIERS -

A love of gov­ern­ment work and fam­ily ap­par­ently drove HHS Sec­re­tary Kath­leen Se­be­lius’ decision to ac­cept a con­tro­ver­sial in­vi­ta­tion to ad­dress a grad­u­at­ing class at one of the na­tion’s high­est-pro­file Ro­man Catholic uni­ver­si­ties.

Se­be­lius ac­cepted an in­vi­ta­tion last week to ad­dress grad­u­ates of the Ge­orge­town Public Pol­icy In­sti­tute on May 18. The in­vi­ta­tion has spawned protests by Catholic groups up­set about an HHS health­care re­form man­date this year that ini­tially re­quired Catholic uni­ver­si­ties and hos­pi­tals to pro­vide birth con­trol cov­er­age that they view as vi­o­lat­ing their core moral be­liefs.

But when asked about the con­tro­versy af­ter an ad­dress last week on health pol­icy in school set­tings at the Na­tional Press Club, Se­be­lius fo­cused on her rea­sons for speak­ing at the univer­sity. “I was de­lighted to be in­vited to honor public ser­vants,” Se­be­lius said. “I’ve been in public ser­vice all of my life. These are stu­dents who are ded­i­cated to go­ing into public ser­vice. I’m the daugh­ter of a public ser­vant. I’m also the mom of a dou­ble Ge­orge­town grad and mar­ried to a Ge­orge­town law stu­dent. So I’m very pleased to be able to ac­cept the in­vi­ta­tion.”

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