KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

Sebelius’ Exit Stirs Fresh GOP Criticism Of The Health Law

The announcement that Kathleen Sebelius will leave her post at the Department of Health and Human Services has reignited the politics surrounding the overhaul for both Democrats and Republicans. It has also triggered questions about her legacy.  

Politico: Website Fiasco Will Taint Kathleen Sebelius’ Legacy
Kathleen Sebelius waited as long as she could. She waited until the Obamacare enrollment season was over, and the once-broken website was so firmly back on track it held up under the last-minute surge. She even waited for one last high point: her announcement at a Senate Finance Committee hearing Thursday that sign-ups had risen to 7.5 million, thanks to the extra time the Obama administration had granted to people who said they couldn’t finish their enrollments on time (Nather, 4/10).

The Wall Street Journal: Health Law Draws Fresh GOP Fire As Sebelius Resigns
Republicans seized on news of Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius's resignation as a fresh opportunity to push for further-reaching changes to President Barack Obama's embattled health-care law, while Democrats praised her for her commitment under fire. In the four years since it was passed, widespread congressional anger and frustration over the Affordable Care Act was often trained on the secretary as she oversaw its implementation. On Thursday, critics largely avoided personal attacks on Mrs. Sebelius, 65 years old, and instead sought to use her resignation to shift attention back to the law's problems and advocate for its repeal (Peterson, 4/10).

Politico: Republicans Pile On At News Of Sebelius’s Exit
The reaction of GOP lawmakers to news of HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius’s resignation played on a very narrow band Thursday evening: Muted thanks to outright disdain. Capitol Hill Republicans have long bludgeoned Sebelius for her role overseeing the failed rollout of Obamacare’s enrollment website, Their response to her exit started coming in immediately (Cheney, 4/10).

Fox News: Republicans Renew Fight Against ObamaCare As Sebelius Resigns
Republicans responded to news of Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius' resignation from the Obama administration on Thursday with fresh calls to repeal the president's health care law. Sebelius leaves the administration after the tumultuous launch of the Affordable Care Act exchanges last fall. Despite calls for her ouster from Republicans at the time, she stayed on until the enrollment period ended at the end of March. A White House official said President Obama will formally make the announcement on Friday, and nominate White House budget office director Sylvia Matthews Burwell to replace the outgoing secretary (4/11).

Politico: Sebelius Exit Opens New Obamacare Front
Democrats will be hoping Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius’s resignation — kept tightly under wraps since the one-on-one meeting in early March when she gave Obama the news — will finally force the president closer to the offensive, aggressive position on Obamacare that they’d been begging for (Dovere and Budoff Brown, 4/11).

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