Health and Human Services Secretary, Healthcare.gov Supervisor Kathleen Sebelius Resigns
April 11, 2014 1:22 PM
President Obama is expected to nominate Sylvia Mathews Burwell for the position
U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius announced her resignation today at a press conference.
The New York Times
, Sebelius resigned on her own accord and was not pushed out by the White House despite the criticism she's received for the Healthcare.gov website. She has reportedly talked about stepping down since March.
Sebelius supervised the rollout of the Healthcare.gov website, which is a key part of President Barack Obama's healthcare law. It went live October 1, 2013.
But the site's launch was a disaster at first, with technical issues ranging from slow speeds to loading messages that prevented users from shopping the health insurance marketplace. Staff shortages, problems with contractors and software issues were among the issues discussed prior to
Later, in January 2014, cyber security expert David Kennedy (head of computer security consulting firm TrustedSec LLC) called the U.S. government out on its lack of effort to fix
security problems with HealthCare.gov
, which were pointed out shortly after the site's launch last year.
Kathleen Sebelius [SOURCE: benswann.com]
Healthcare.gov was heavily criticized during this time, and because Sebelius supervised the site, a lot of this criticism came down on her shoulders.
In fact, a "Saturday Night Live" parody made fun of her, talk show hosts made several negative comments and Republicans in Congress were especially critical of her leadership. Sen. John Barrasso (R-WY) even called her the "laughingstock of America."
Through all of that, Sebelius held strong and continued believing in the healthcare law.
"There are people in this country who have waited for decades for affordable health coverage for themselves and their families," said Sebelius.
The website eventually
saw a turnaround
, and despite it being temperamental and insecure, it recently reached 7.5 million sign-ups.
"I know that this law has been at the center of much debate and discourse in Washington, but what this enrollment demonstrates is that the Affordable Care Act is working and much needed," said Sebelius.
President Obama has nominated Sylvia Mathews Burwell -- current director of the Office of Management and Budget -- to replace Sebelius.
The New York Times
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