Kathleen Sebelius recently announced her resignation as secretary of the Department of Health & Human Services following the end of open enrollment for—and botched rollout of—the health insurance exchanges created under the Affordable Care Act.
On April 11, President Barack Obama nominated Sylvia Mathews Burwell to take over the position. Burwell is the current director of the Office of Management and Budget.
Sebelius played a key role in shaping the nation’s healthcare system in the past five years, President Obama said during an event naming the HHS secretary successor.
“Kathleen has been here through the long fight to pass the Affordable Care Act,” he said. “She helped guide its implementation, even when it got rough.”
Sebelius oversaw the HHS during a “historic” period when the Affordable Care Act was being drafted, passed into law, and implemented, White House press secretary Jay Carney said during an April 11 press briefing.
“What is most notable about this moment is that despite the troubles that we forthrightly acknowledge that the Affordable Care Act got in its rollout of the healthcare.gov website, today we can say that 7.5 million Americans enrolled in the marketplaces,” he said. “…And Secretary Sebelius deserves credit for all of that through her leadership at HHS.”
Sebelius notified the president in early March of her plans to resign when open enrollment for the healthcare exchanges had ended.
“We commend HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius for her many years of service and leadership that have led to improvement in the quality of life for all Americans,” said Val Halamandaris, president of the National Association for Home Care & Hospice, in a statement. “Kathleen Sebelius is an extraordinary, caring person whose contributions and professionalism have gone largely unrecognized. She deserves our thanks and applause. She will be much missed, especially by Americans who work in the healing arts.”
Written by Alyssa Gerace