The HHS secretary will now be leaving her post and the OMB director will be replacing her.
The Health and Human Services Secretary, has announced in recent health care reform news that she has resigned from her post, bringing an end to a turbulent tenure as the primary voice for the Affordable Care Act.
President Obama spoke at a Rose Garden ceremony, to nominate his budget director to succeed Sebelius.
Obama stated that “After five years of extraordinary service to our country, and seven and a half million Americans who’ve signed up for health coverage through the exchanges,” Sebelius had earned her opportunity to step away from the position. He also stated that the health care reform would not have proceeded as it did without her. He expressed that “Under Kathleen’s leadership, the team at HHS turned the corner,” and said that he was proud of her for what she had done, that it was “a historic accomplishment.”
As the public face of the health care reform, Sebelius was the target of considerable controversy.
She joined the Cabinet in 2009, only three months after Obama first became president. Previously, she had been a governor of Kansas, a conservative state that regarded her well. Now, she is on her way out of her job as secretary of the HHS after having faced massive criticism over the notable struggles and failures throughout the rollout of the health insurance exchanges.
Throughout this entire time, Obama made it more than clear that he would not be looking to have the health secretary resign. Her departure, however is timed to occur alongside several positive announcements that have left the White House, such as the massive amount of enrollment that was recorded last month.
At the same time, though, there were some from the White House that pointed out that the HealthCare.gov exchange launch debacle did cause tensions to spike between the staff members of the president and Sebelius, herself. It seems that there was a growing lack of trust for the department she was leading. There were even some Democrats that had privately argued that there should be someone held accountable for the problems that occurred in the health care reform due to the highly technically flawed insurance exchange.