Sebelius says Burwell ‘committed’ to reforms

Outgoing Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Kathleen Sebelius praised the Obama administration’s new carbon plan and said her successor, Sylvia Burwell, is committed to the changes as well.

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Speaking at the Health Consortium’s Health Datapalooza conference Tuesday, Sebelius praised Obama’s plan to reduce carbon emissions, which the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) says will cut 150,000 asthma attacks in children by 2030.

“Many of these reforms were years in the making,” said Sebelius. “The wonderful new incoming secretary is committed to them as well.”

Sebelius noted HHS has been working with the EPA and local hospitals for years to find ways to reduce asthma attacks.

Sebelius said, ultimately, the changes they've put in place are bigger than one person or one administration.

President Obama on Monday unveiled new carbon pollution standards for existing power plants, which the administration says are necessary to reduce the growing number of asthma attacks in children and families.

"Rising temperatures bring more smog, more asthma, and longer allergy seasons. If your kid doesn’t use an inhaler, consider yourself a lucky parent, because 1 in 10 children in the U.S. suffers from asthma," said Environmental Protection Agency chief Gina McCarthy after announcing the new standards.

"Carbon pollution from power plants comes packaged with other dangerous pollutants like particulate matter, nitrogen oxides, and sulfur dioxide, putting our families at even more risk," she added.