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HHS Secretary Sebelius Resigns

by Keith Koffler on April 10, 2014, 7:00 pm

HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius has resigned, and President Obama will announce Friday that he is replacing her with OMB Director Sylvia Mathews Burwell. According to the Washington Post, Sebelius notified Obama early in March that she would be stepping down.

According to reports, officials say Sebelius was not forced out. But her departure comes right at the end of what Obama himself described as a kind of grace period during which he wanted aides to focus on fixing the failed Healthcare.gov website, with personnel matters to be dealt with later. And the odd manner of the announcement – a leak to the press – suggests the White House is not being careful about providing her a dignified exit.

The Obamacare rollout, which has included the launch of the website October 1 and the beginning of major Obamacare programs January 1, has been one of the greatest fiascos in modern presidential history, featuring a site that lacked basic functionality and numerous delays to program deadlines that had been written into law as part of the Affordable Care Act.

Sebelius was to be overseeing all of it, and White House officials were frustrated with the poor results. Palace intrigue watchers thought they noticed something significant when Sebelius did not join Obama onstage last week during a Rose Garden celebration of the more than 7 million Obamacare exchange signups, and when she didn’t even get a shout out. It appears they were right.

Sebelius, 65, is the former governor of Kansas. She is one of Obama’s longest serving Cabinet secretaries, having taken office in April 2009.

Burwell is a wonky, longtime Washington hand who is very familiar to Washington insiders. Before her stint at OMB, she served as a senior policy aide in the Clinton White House. At this point, she would seem to have a smooth path toward confirmation, though her hearing will certainly give Republicans a chance to produce some Obamacare-related fireworks.

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{ 19 comments }

Julie Brueckheimer April 10, 2014 at 7:13 pm

Pew did a poll in which 80% of respondents say that Obamacare will be an important issue to them in the 2014 elections (54% very important), and they will be looking to see which incumbents voted for it. So, Kathleen, from my perspective you did an excellent job. : – D

rawheadrex April 10, 2014 at 7:13 pm

Sic(k) transit gloria Sebelius!

Darkangel April 10, 2014 at 7:51 pm

My Latin isn’t what it used to be, but wouldn’t there be a declension on “Sebelius”?

DeniseVB April 10, 2014 at 7:26 pm

Hmmm, OMB Director to replace her? Isn’t that the office that shut down (under the direction of BO) the National Parks, museums and locked the veterans out of their memorials? Could she also be the one cooking the books for the high priced vacations and other travels?

Boy, Obama owes her big time, huh?

Pat April 10, 2014 at 7:37 pm

Another rat leaves the sinking Obamacare ship.. I .don’t think that Sylvia Burwell will last long either, Obamacare is imploding fast. By the way, there will be more insurance cancellations coming up in the next few months, if you made it through last year without a cancellation notice, don’t relax yet….

Girly1 April 10, 2014 at 8:02 pm

No surprise here. According to Ed Henry and others, it was the WH that micro-managed the entire disastrous ObamaCare roll-out. Did Sebelius really believe she would never be thrown under the bus with all the other bodies? Did she believe she would be spared b/c she lied her head off to please her master?
Obama repaid her loyalty with a thumb in the eye in the Rose Garden ten days ago.
The moral of the story: Lie down with dogs; and get up with fleas.

AFVet April 11, 2014 at 11:24 am

As Obamacare continues to implode, I think she saw more congressional hearings on the horizon and has had enough of it.

Sagebrush6 April 10, 2014 at 8:07 pm

Obama treated her better than the North Korean head whatever did to his uncle. I wonder how long she will live ?

Mary Brown April 10, 2014 at 8:28 pm

The buck stops at Obama’s desk. He is the one that needs to step down. Obamacrap is a failure and has to be repealed before it takes the entire economy down with it. With food and fuel prices up 10% +++ people cannot afford doubling or more of medical costs. ACA is anything but affordable with copays of $5k for many plans. A friends copay went fro $500 to $10k to keep the premium only 25% higher. Name one working American(I am talking the people who work in stores, gas stations, other lower paying jobs) who can afford that kind of an increase?

DMcG April 10, 2014 at 8:29 pm

Would it be inappropriate to sing “Ding, Dong, the Wicked Witch is Dead”? Or should we hold that until Nancy Pelosi retires?

scooby184 April 10, 2014 at 8:51 pm

How disgusting this administration is. These perps come in, do the destruction then retire – probably on the taxpayer dime.

JP April 10, 2014 at 9:16 pm

We all know that Kathy got fired. Obama set her up to take the fall for his failures. You know the routine: it’s somebody else’s fault FOR EVERYTHING!

soljerblue April 10, 2014 at 10:55 pm

From Sibelius to Burwell — business as usual. The only reason Sibelius is going is that Obama needed a scapegoat for the rollout follies.

srdem65 April 10, 2014 at 11:06 pm

Goodbye, good riddance, see ya’ wouldn’t want to be ya’, have a nice trip, we’ll send your personal effects when you give us an address, adios, aloha, write sometime, call when you get a chance. and rest assured, we won’t forget you and what you did during your employment here.

SnarkEsq. April 10, 2014 at 11:07 pm

Now if only Obummer would resign…

PBB April 10, 2014 at 11:33 pm

Well, that is a start ! If I had to choose between her and Eric Holder I would have chosen Holder to go. I would imagine 95% here would make the same choice. I don’t believe Sebelius was an ideologue though, I believe she was just incompetent. I believe Holder is an evil ideologue. If he was Nixon’s AG, there would be a ongoing investigation in perpetuity.

gracepmc April 11, 2014 at 12:07 am

Obama cannot function without Jarrett and Holder.

Peggy April 11, 2014 at 1:18 am

you’re absolutely correct, she wipes his a$$ and holder wipes his……………

Grandma Di April 10, 2014 at 11:56 pm

How does changing one Idiot for another Idiot change anything?