Kathleen Sebelius Resigning
Kathleen Sebelius, the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services who became the face of the Affordable Care Act aka “Obamamcare”, is resigning. President Obama accepted her resignation this week and plans to tap Sylvia Mathews Burwell to replace her.
Sebelius has a rough tenure as head of HHS especially after the chaotic roll out of the Obamacare website Healthcare.gov. Her resignation at this time may be a symbolic gesture by the Obama Administration to try and show that they have gotten the momentum back on Obamacare after initial failures and embarrassments.
The departure comes as the Obama administration tries to move beyond its early stumbles in carrying out the law, convince a still-skeptical public of its lasting benefits, and help Democratic incumbents, who face blistering attack ads after supporting the legislation, survive the midterm elections this fall.
Officials said Ms. Sebelius, 65, made the decision to resign and was not forced out. But the frustration at the White House over her performance had become increasingly clear, as administration aides worried that the crippling problems at HealthCare.gov, the website set up to enroll Americans in insurance exchanges, would result in lasting damage to the president’s legacy.
Hard to see how Sebelius resigning will help the midterms but the resignation does seem to be part of a “turn the page strategy” as the Obama Administration claimed a victory with the announcement that over 7 million Americans had enrolled in the exchanges. Though some critics have noted that many of those signing up are people who were previously insured.
Regardless of how the policy is playing out it is becoming increasingly clear that Obamacare is a problem for Democrats in the 2014 midterm elections.