Virginia Governor-elect Terry McAuliffe is retaining his Republican predecessor's health and human resources secretary.
McAuliffe said at a news conference that Bill Hazel is the best person for the job. Hazel has been a member of Republican Governor Bob McDonnell's Cabinet for the past four years.
Hazel enjoys bipartisan support in the General Assembly, where he will lead McAuliffe's effort to expand Medicaid under the federal health care reform law to cover an additional 400,000 low-income Virginians. The Republican-controlled House of Delegates opposes expansion, but McAuliffe called Hazel an "invaluable asset" in working with both sides toward his top health-care priority.
McAuliffe also said that as an orthopedic surgeon, Hazel brings a helpful practitioner's perspective to health care policy.