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The GW Hatchet

AN INDEPENDENT STUDENT NEWSPAPER SERVING THE GW COMMUNITY SINCE 1904

The GW Hatchet

Serving the GW Community since 1904

The GW Hatchet

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In first speech, new health secretary sets tone for next phase of Obamacare

The newly sworn-in Secretary of Health and Human Services gave her first public address Monday in GW’s Jack Morton Auditorium.

Three months after the Senate confirmed her, Sylvia Burwell used her time at the podium to defend the Affordable Care Act, saying the landmark health care law is about “making progress” and not “making a point,” The Hill reported.

Photo courtesy of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
Sylvia Burwell made her first public speech Monday at GW. Photo courtesy of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Burwell replaced her embattled predecessor Kathleen Sebelius, who stepped down from the post after a botched rollout of the online enrollment website for the new healthcare system.

And Burwell made clear that she plans to stay above the political fray over Obamacare, pledging not to “fight last year’s battles.” Instead, she vowed to focus on the challenges ahead.

“Transparency builds trust, and it is something we take very seriously,” she said. “Even if the numbers aren’t quite where we want them to be on something, we’re going to tell you about it.”

The health secretary also used the speech as an opportunity to remind students and faculty that they can make a difference in their field by taking on leadership roles.

Burwell’s remarks come just two months before the second enrollment period for the Affordable Care Act, which begins Nov. 15.

A Twitter account for Burwell was also created today, the Wall Street Journal reported.

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