Health and Human Services Secretary, Kathleen Sebelius, is calling it quits after a tumultuous 6-months heading the roll out of the Affordable Care Act’s Healthcare.Gov website.
Sebelius has served as HHS Secretary for five years but has faced heavy scrutiny since the launch of Healthcare.Gov in October. The site, which sets up the marketplace for individuals to enroll in health insurance plans, malfunctioned right out of the gate and was relatively useless for the first two weeks of it’s existence.
More than 7 million Americans enrolled in healthcare plans through the online marketplace, despite the site again malfunctioning on the March 31 deadline for enrollment.
Republicans have called for Sebelius to resign since the malfunctions started in October, but the former Kansas governor stayed true to her leadership roots and committed to seeing the website through.
When Sebelius came before the House Energy and Commerce Committee in October, she admitted to the American people that “You deserve better, I apologize. I’m accountable to you for fixing these problems. And I’m committed to earning your confidence back by fixing the site,” NPR reported.
As with any big piece of controversial legislation, one unlucky political face takes the brunt of the heat from Congress and the American people; unfortunately for Seblius, Obama wasn’t about to play the healthcare martyr.
Sebelius played the martyr well, hitting the Twitter-verse with a dose of class as she left office…
Thank you to Pres. Obama, talented colleagues at @HHSGov. It has been the cause of my life and am grateful to serve at a historic time
— Kathleen Sebelius (@Sebelius) April 11, 2014
According to The New York Times, Sebelius made the decision to resign on her own and was not “forced out” by the Obama Administration. However, it is clear that frustration with Sebelius has been brewing in the White House as she struggled with handling the early failings of the website.
Shortly after the March 31, President Obama held a press conference celebrating the success of enrollment, but Secretary Sebelius was nowhere to be found, she wasn’t even thanked by the President for her efforts.
President Obama is nominating Slyvia Mathews Burwell, director of the Office of Management and Budget, to replace Sebelius as HHS Secretary.
While Sebelius left her position as a class act, quietly sacrificing her HHS political career for the sake of Obama’s signature legislation, the President has remained relatively silent about the mishaps facing the future of the ACA. It would seem that Obama has his presidential legacy in mind when dealing with these touchy topics – can we blame him? Leave your thoughts below!