As Sebelius Plans Departure, Challenges Remain For Successor
News outlets covered the surprising news.
The Associated Press: Kathleen Sebelius Resigning From Top HHS Post
Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius is resigning from the Obama administration after the rocky rollout of President Barack Obama's signature health care law, a White House official said Thursday. Her resignation comes just one week after the end of the first enrollment period for the Obamacare law. ... The next secretary will have to with contend with huge challenges related to the continued implementation of the health overhaul, as well as the divisive politics around it (Pace, 4/10).
Bloomberg: Sebelius Said to Resign as U.S. Health Secretary
Sylvia Mathews Burwell, director of the Office of Management and Budget, will be nominated to succeed Sebelius, one of the people said. White House officials had no immediate comment on the report. Sebelius’s resignation closes the first major chapter of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare (Wayne, Goldman and Armstrong, 4/10).
Politico: Sebelius Resigns As HHS Secretary
Sebelius gave no hint of her imminent departure as she testified Thursday before a Senate panel, announcing that enrollment in Obamacare exchanges had surpassed 7.5 million — a figure that easily beat White House expectations. Still, the strong finish didn’t eclipse a start that Sebelius herself called a “debacle” when HealthCare.gov melted down on Oct. 1. ... A White House official said Sebelius told Obama in March that she planned to resign. She said that she felt the Affordable Care Act trajectory was back on track, and believed “that once open enrollment ended, it would be the right time to transition the department to new leadership" (Kenen, 4/10).
USA Today: HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius Resigns
Officials suggested Sebelius made the decision on her own to resign and was not forced out. On Thursday, she touted to the Senate Finance Committee that 7.5 million people had enrolled in private health insurance plans—500,000 more people more than Congressional Budget Office's initial projections. ... Sebelius had become a punching bag for Republicans. Republican National Committee chairman Reince Priebus called Sebelius's oversight of the rollout of the healthcare law "disastrous" (Schouten, Kennedy and Madhani, 4/10).
ABC News: HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius Resigning
Sebelius approached President Obama about a month ago and asked to step down after the health care sign-up numbers were released, two senior administration officials and a confidante of Sebelius' told ABC News. The White House always worried about finding someone to win confirmation at HHS, but Burwell was confirmed 96-0 about a year ago. ... Last week, the administration announced 7.1 million people had enrolled as of April 1 (Zeleny, 4/10).
The Washington Post: Sebelius Resigning As HHS Secretary
As the health-care implementation problems started piling up last fall, Republicans called on her to step down. ... Before joining the Obama administration in 2009, Sebelius had served as governor of Kansas. Burwell has been heading OMB for just under a year. She was confirmed by the Senate unanimously last April. The West Virginia native had previously served as deputy budget director in the Clinton administration (Hamburger and Sullivan, 4/10).
The New York Times: Health Secretary Resigns After Woes Of HealthCare.gov
The departure comes as the Obama administration tries to move beyond its early stumbles in carrying out the law, persuade a still-skeptical public of its lasting benefits, and help Democratic incumbents, who face blistering attack ads after supporting the legislation, survive the midterm elections this fall. ... The president is hoping that Ms. Burwell, 48, a Harvard- and Oxford-educated West Virginia native with a background in economic policy, will bring an intense focus and management acumen to the department. The budget office, which she has overseen since April of last year, is deeply involved in developing and carrying out health care policy (Shear, 4/10).
Politico: Republicans Pile On At News Of Sebelius’s Exit
Capitol Hill Republicans have long bludgeoned Sebelius for her role overseeing the failed rollout of Obamacare’s enrollment website, HealthCare.gov. Their response to her exit started coming in immediately. House Majority Leader Eric Cantor said she had an “impossible” job — defending Obamacare. “I thank Secretary Sebelius for her service. She had an impossible task: nobody can make Obamacare work,” he quickly tweeted. ...“It’s about time,” tweeted Rep. Tim Huelskamp, who hails from Sebelius’s home state of Kansas (Cheney, 4/10).