Kathleen Sebelius resigned from her position as Health and Human Services Secretary. She announced this on Friday, April 11th, 2014. She quit her post and the President accepted her resignation in a Rose Garden ceremony. He then nominated her successor.
President Obama said Sebelius has earned the right to step down. He went on to comment about the seven and a half million people who now have coverage through exchanges. She stood beside the President during the ceremony. Because of Ms. Sebelius’s leadership, HHS and it’s team has made history in the continued quest for healthcare for all Americans.
Kathleen Sebelius came into the cabinet back in 2009, after Obama had been in office for three months. She was governor of Kansas, a conservative state. She leaves due to immense pressure from critics, when the initial phase of Obama’s health plan met obstacles. President Obama told his aides he didn’t want her resignation during the firestorm which hit. Her departure is now set to a lighter note in that enrollment in health coverage sky rocketed last month.
Anonymously, per a White House official, Sebelius was noted to have felt the time was right for new leadership since the enrollment period was ending. Someone or a group determined that she or someone, should be held responsible for the insurance exchange. She felt The Affordable Care Act had met initial goals of enrollment and implementation.
Sylvia Matthews Burwell was nominated to replace Kathleen Sebelius. Currently her title is Office of Management and Budget Director. She does not have a big background in Health Care Policies, but her experience lies in poverty issues and global health. She previously worked at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. To run the Health and Human Services as Secretary she will need Senate confirmations.
The Sebelius resignation caught Washington and others by surprise. Experienced Democrats on the Hill were surprised as well. Nancy Pelosi commended Kathleen Sebelius for her strength and resilience in the pursuit of healthcare for all Americans. She feels it is their right as citizens.
Kathleen Sebelius maintains a good relationship with the President. A group of aides recently informed the President that more than 7 million people had signed up. Sebelius was not part of that group in the oval office and he didn’t mention her when he told the nation of the success on April 1st.
She actually lasted longer than most Health and Human Service Secretaries, 500 days longer. She will remain until the confirmation of her successor is made. Under Sebelius 77,000 full time workers process Medicare, Medicaid, National Institutes of Health, The Food and Drug Administration, The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. This department is the most prevalent in American lives than any other government agency.
Republicans in Congress responded unfavorably with criticism directed at The Affordable Care Act. In the end, Kathleen Sebelius quits her post as Secretary of Health and Human Services, after she vowed to fix the site where obstacles were met with the new law. She apologized and took blame for the Affordable Care Act Web site immediately back in October.
By Kim Troike