May 21 (Bloomberg) — Sylvia Mathews Burwell, President Barack Obama's choice for U.S. health secretary, gained the overwhelming backing of a key committee, sending her nomination to the U.S. Senate for a confirmation vote.

The Finance Committee voted 21-3 today to recommend Burwell's nomination as secretary of the Health and Human Services Department. Three Republican senators — Pat Roberts of Kansas, John Cornyn of Texas and John Thune of South Dakota — voted against her.

Burwell, 48, is currently the director of Obama's Office of Management and Budget. She would replace Kathleen Sebelius, who announced her resignation April 10 after the turbulent first enrollment period concluded for the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.

While 8 million Americans signed up for private coverage under the health law, enrollment was plagued by computer failures that have persisted in some states. The board for Nevada's health exchange voted yesterday to fire its contractor, Xerox Corp., shut down the state's website for at least a year and join the federal system. Three other states – - Oregon, Maryland and Massachusetts — have made similar decisions after their enrollment systems failed.

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