White house officials announced the resignation of Health and Human Services secretary Kathleen Sebelius, who stepped down following the six-month open enrollment period of Obamacare.
Last Sunday, Sebelius denied rumors that she was pressured to leave her post because of issues with the Affordable Care Act’s implementation. In a ceremony held at the White House Rose Garden on Friday, President Barack Obama nominated Office of Management and Budget director Sylvia Mathews Burwell as Sebelius’ successor.
In an interview on NBC’s TV news program Meet the Press, Sebelius said that she and President Obama started discussing the health care law after the first year, suggesting that he should begin looking for her replacement once the first chapter of the implementation was finished.
Sebelius also said she offered her resignation to President Obama in March, although he did not accept it until after the enrollment deadline passed this past week. Calling it a “logical time to leave”, Sebelius said that she made it clear to the President that staying on was not an option.
The 65-year-old former Governor of Kansas was widely criticized for the Obamacare website’s many glitches and flaws. However, the total number of Obamacare enrollees went over 7 million despite the rollout’s challenges – an achievement that earned the praise of Democrats. On the other hand, Republicans have not been as forgiving to Sebelius and the health care law.
On Sunday, they vowed to continue fighting Obamacare even as it shifts under Burwell’s leadership. Republican Rep. Marsha Blackburn of Tennessee’s 7th district appeared on CBS’ Face the Nation in which she stated that the government can expect a continued effort to “repeal and replace” Obamacare.
Sebelius successor, Burwell, is not a newbie to the White House – she served under former President Bill Clinton as his deputy chief of staff, as well as the staff director of the National Economic Council.
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