KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

HHS Secretary Sebelius Resigns

After holding the post for five years, and overseeing the flawed rollout of, the White House said Thursday that Kathleen Sebelius will leave her post as chief of the Department of Health and Human Services.  

The New York Times: Sebelius Resigns After Troubles Over Health Site
Kathleen Sebelius, the health and human services secretary, is resigning, ending a stormy five-year tenure marred by the disastrous rollout of President Obama’s signature legislative achievement, the Affordable Care Act. Mr. Obama accepted Ms. Sebelius’s resignation this week, and on Friday morning, he will nominate Sylvia Mathews Burwell, the director of the Office of Management and Budget, to replace her, officials said (Shear, 4/10).

Kaiser Health News: Sebelius Resigns; Obama To Name OMB Chief Burwell To Head HHS
After a five-year tenure that included the flawed rollout of the health care law and stormy relations with Capitol Hill Republicans, Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius is resigning, a White House official said late Thursday (Carey, 4/10).

The Washington Post: Kathleen Sebelius To Step Down As HHS Secretary, OMB Director Will Take Her Place
Sebelius entered the Cabinet in 2009, three months into Obama’s presidency, as a well-regarded former governor of conservative Kansas. She is leaving after months of intense criticism over the botched rollout in the fall of the insurance marketplace. During the firestorm, Obama made clear to his aides that he would not seek the resignation of his health secretary, and her departure is timed to brighter news for the White House as enrollment soared late last month. Still, some White House allies said Thursday night that the troubled launch of had heightened tensions between Sebelius and the president’s staff members, who had become increasingly mistrustful of the department she led (Eilperin and Goldstein, 4/10).

Los Angeles Times: Health Chief Kathleen Sebelius, Who Oversaw Obamacare Rollout, Resigns
Sebelius was not pressured to resign, the official said. But she leaves after presiding over the disastrous launch of the health law's online insurance marketplaces last fall. That failure threatened to unravel what was supposed to be Obama's signature domestic policy achievement and has endangered Democrats who face elections in November (Levey and Parsons, 4/10).

The Wall Street Journal: Kathleen Sebelius To Resign Health Post
She informed Mr. Obama in early March of her decision to resign, a White House official said. "At that time, Secretary Sebelius told the president that she felt confident in the trajectory for enrollment and implementation of the Affordable Care Act, and that she believed that once open enrollment ended it would be the right time to transition the department to new leadership," the official said (Radnofsky and Lee, 4/10).

The Associated Press: Sebelius, A Lightning Rod For Critics, Resigns 
The opening weeks of the enrollment period were marred by website woes, straining ties between Sebelius and officials in the West Wing. Though the administration rebounded strongly and exceeded expectations by enrolling 7.1 million people by the March 31 deadline, the comeback wasn’t enough to tamp down Republican criticism of Sebelius or boost the public’s perception of the federal health care overhaul (4/11).

USA Today: HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius Resigns
In recent months, Sebelius has faced heavy scrutiny after the troubled launch of the federal online insurance marketplace and has been deluged with Republican attacks over the costs of the Affordable Care Act. During the first difficult weeks of the federal marketplace, Sebelius proved to be an unsteady administration spokeswoman for the health care law (Schouten, Kennedy and Madhani, 4/10).

NBC News: Sebelius: Face Of Obamacare, But Snubbed By Obama
Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius was the icy and determined face of Obamacare from the beginning. But she was always President Barack Obama's second choice for the job, and before she resigned on Thursday after overseeing the rocky rollout of his signature health reform law, he snubbed her. When he announced enrollment on the exchanges had surpassed 7 million — far more than anyone expected when the exchanges failed badly for the first two months, it was Vice President Joe Biden, not Sebelius, who stood victoriously at his side (Fox, 4/10).

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