Health Dept. Secretary Resigns after Obamacare enrollment period ends

By Catherine Casey

sebeliusKathleen Sebelius will announce her resignation as secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services on Friday. She has held the position for five years and was previously Governor of Kansas.

Sebelius was the head of the health department when the Affordable Care Act was passed and put into action last fall. Critics panned her for the rough rollout of the “Obamacare” website. Sylvia Mathews Burwell, the current director of the Office of Management and Budget, will replace Sebelius when President Obama nominates her on Friday.

Despite the troubled launch, the  website came through in the end for both Sebelius and the Obama administration. More than 7.5 million Americans signed up, which was more than expected for the first enrollment period.

President Obama spoke to the public from the White House Rose Garden on April 1, the day after the enrollment period ended. He thanked congressional leaders who supported the reform but did not acknowledge Sebelius for her work.

Later that week House minority leader Nancy Pelosi released a statement regarding Sebelius’ time as secretary. She said that from the beginning, “Secretary Kathleen Sebelius has remained laser-focused on a single purpose: to make health care a right, not a privilege, for all Americans. Her leadership has been forceful, effective and essential.