Sebelius Resigns as HHS Secretary After Obamacare’s Shaky Start

Alex Wong/Getty Images

Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius has resigned, nine days after President Obama trumpeted the news that 7.1 million Americans had signed up for Obamacare by the first deadline despite a near-calamitous rollout of the health care law under her leadership.

Some White House watchers noted at the time that Sebelius did not join Obama at the podium as he celebrated the surge in enrollment under the Affordable Care Act, nor did he recognize his Cabinet secretary.

Obama accepted the resignation this week, sources told USA Today, and he will nominate Sylvia Mathews Burwell, his director of the Office of Management and Budget, to replace Sebelius.

Democrats, led by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, have been on the defensive over Obamacare going into the midterm elections. Obama and Reid have insisted that “horror stories” about the health law’s effects on Americans aren’t true.

“I thank Secretary Sebelius for her service,” House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) tweeted. “She had an impossible task: nobody can make Obamacare work.”

Only today,  Sebelius had told the Senate Finance Committee that 7.5 million Americans had enrolled in private health insurance plans—500,000 more than the Congressional Budget Office had projected.

Sebelius herself had tweeted at about 5:30 p.m.: “As of this week, 400K more Americans have signed up for coverage. If you’re in line, you can still #GetCovered!”

However, Sebelius had struggled to defend her agency’s performance in the Obamacare rollout both in the media and before congressional panels,  the New York Times noted this evening.

This story was produced by The Foundry’s news team. Nothing here should be construed as necessarily reflecting the views of The Heritage Foundation.

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