CHARLESTON — The nation’s secretary of Health and Human Services is calling the state of America’s health a national security issue.

Kathleen Sebelius was in Charleston on Thursday where she met with a black nurses group.

She told the nurses group that only about 25 percent of the young people eligible to join the nation’s armed forces meet the physical standards to do so. She says the health of the nation’s workers affects America’s ability to compete in the worldwide economy.

On another matter, Sebelius says she’s optimistic the courts will uphold the federal Affordable Care Act that extends health insurance coverage.

Sebelius is also attending a conference on coping with the nation’s disparity in health care services for the poor and less-educated.