A White House official says Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius is resigning from the Obama administration.
The move comes just a week after the close of the rocky enrollment period for President Barack Obama's health care law. Website failures marred the opening weeks of the six-month enrollment period, but the administration rebounded strongly by enrolling more than 7 million people in health insurance plans.
Sebelius' resignation could set the stage for a contentious election-year confirmation hearing for whomever Obama nominates to replace her. Sebelius has served as HHS secretary since the start of the Obama administration.
The official was not authorized to discuss Sebelius' resignation ahead of the formal announcement and requested anonymity.
Nebraska Congressman Lee Terry issued the following statement about the resignation:
“When I had the chance last Fall to question Kathleen Sebelius before the House Energy and Commerce Committee about the failed Obamacare rollout, I asked her point blank if she would release the contractors building healthcare.gov from contractual obligations and allow them to share basic data with state Health Insurance commissioners about who was signing up for the President’s healthcare plan. As a former State Insurance Commissioner herself, I was extremely disappointed but not surprised she refused requests for basic transparency.
“With the President’s healthcare plan, we had promises broken about lower health care premiums, keeping your doctor and keeping your plan. Broken promises and millions of wasted taxpayer dollars under are the reasons why the American people are losing faith with this President and his law.
“I hope this will be a wake up call to the Administration. At the end of the day, Kathleen Sebelius may be gone but the American people will still wake up tomorrow with health insurance that’s more expensive than the plans they previously had and weren't able to keep. It will be up to the President to work with Congress on patient centered reforms so we can hold him accountable to the promises he made.”
Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley issued this statement:
“Anybody put in charge of Obamacare would be set up to fail. Secretary Sebelius was asked to promote something unready, poorly structured, and unpopular. She was given a law that was just about written in pencil the way the deadlines changed all the time. That put her in a position of having a strained relationship with Congress. It’s disingenuous for the White House to distance itself from the problems and attribute them to partisan sniping at one member of the Administration. The next secretary might have a fresh start with the public and Congress but the flawed law is still the law.”