Kathleen Sebelius will resign from her position as Health and Human Services Secretary in the wake of the problematic implementation of the healthcare exchanges mandated under the Affordable Care Act, the New York Times reported on Thursday.
White House Chief of Staff Denis R. McDonough confirmed Sebelius’ departure, saying it was her decision to resign. He also said President Barack Obama will announce on Friday that he will nominate White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) director Sylvia Mathews Burwell to be Sebelius’ successor.
“The president wants to make sure we have a proven manager and relentless implementer in the job over there, which is why he is going to nominate Sylvia,” McDonough was quoted as saying.
McDonough told the Times that Sebelius approached Obama to say that the administration’s success in getting more than 7 million U.S. residents to participate in the health exchanges represented an opportunity for the department to move ahead without someone at the helm who had attracted as much criticism over the past few months.
“What was clear is that she thought that it was time to transition the leadership to somebody else,” McDonough was quoted as saying. “She’s made clear in other comments publicly that she recognizes that she takes a lot of the incoming. She does hope — all of us hope — that we can get beyond the partisan sniping.”
Burwell is a former head of the Walmart Foundation and the global development program for the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. She has helmed the OMB since April 2013.