A senior administration officials say President Obama’s health secretary, Kathleen Sebelius, intends to resign her post.
Sebelius oversaw the troubled implementation of the Affordable Care Act, popularly known as Obamacare, but is calling it quits just after the President’s signature healthcare law exceeded its 7,000,000 enrollment goal for its first year.
The Affordable Care Act was designed to drastically reduce the number of Americans without health insurance.
When enrollment for health insurance began in October with a website designed to shop for insurance in 35 states, it was plagued with problems and did not work properly for weeks.
Another official told Reuters that Obama has selected his budget director, Sylvia Mathews Burwell, as Sebelius’ replacement. The President is scheduled to make an official announcement Friday at the White House at 10:45 a.m. EST.
Despite the eventual success of Obamacare, its rocky rollout got a lot of media attention and Sebelius, as the program’s public face, received a great deal of criticism.
The 65-year-old Sebelius, a former governor of Kansas, reportedly told Obama in early March that she wanted to resign.
“She believed that once open enrollment ended it would be the right time to transition the department to new leadership,” an official told Reuters.
Burwell, a former official of both the Gates Foundation and the Wal-Mart Foundation, played an important role in helping the White House handle its response to October’s Republican-instigated government shutdown. She also was key in talks that finally produced a two-year budget agreement in December.
“The president sought a nominee with strong credentials in management, implementation, and performance for this important role,” an official told Reuters.
Burwell was confirmed unanimously to head the budget office less than a year ago.