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Kennedy back in chairman's seat

From NBC's Ken Strickland
Sen. Ted Kennedy is presiding over a hearing for Kansas Gov. Kathleen Sebelius' nomination to be Secretary of Health and Human Services

Kennedy is the Chairman of the Health, Education, Labor, and Pension Committee. (This is not an actual "confirmation hearing." It's more of a courtesy hearing because the Finance Committee has official jurisdiction over HHS.)

According to Kennedy's remarks, as prepared for delivery he said, "Few debates in Congress touch our lives as profoundly and personally as health care. Over the past 10 months, I've seen our health care system up close. I've benefited from the best of medicine. But we have too many uninsured Americans. We have sickness care and not health care. We have too much paperwork and bureaucracy. Costs are out of control. But today we have an opportunity like never before to reform health care."

Kennedy is recovering from a brain tumor and has spent much of the past several weeks recuperating and resting in Florida. 

He returned to Washington last week and is expected to remain in D.C. for an unspecified length of time to work on several health care related issues, including Sebelius' hearing today.