in which role she was already a key advocate for health reform at the state level. I think this falls under the category of “be careful what you ask for,” because today, the Secretary is clearly in the center of the implementation of the reform in the Affordable Care Act of the Obama administration.
Recently, the New York Times did an assessment of the rollout, reaction, and results in the early phase of work on implementing health care reform. The only unit to receive from the Times a grade of “A” was that of the federal activity to implement health reform. I can assure you that the Secretary is an indefatigable leader. I can tell you that from personal experience of just last week, watching the Secretary in Moscow lead the American delegation in a very important set of discussions with leaders from around the world on the broad problem of preventing and reducing non-communicable diseases.
I also understand that the Secretary departed immediately from Moscow and then went to New Orleans for the New Orleans Jazz Festival. If that is not correct, I will stand to be corrected. I, however, did not get to go to New Orleans as I was stuck still in Moscow for yet another day. And still I have to say, as one who was in the audience, so admiring of the clarity, the forcefulness, and the sensitivity with which the Secretary delivered very important messages to that world community.
I know that we will tonight experience similarly enlightening and stimulating comments from our Secretary of Health and Human Services. Please join me in welcoming The Honorable Kathleen Sebelius.