U.S. President Barack Obama and departing Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius took another victory lap on Friday, declaring the Affordable Care Act a success in a press conference during which Obama announced Sebelius’ resignation.
In announcing Sebelius’ departure, Obama heaped praise on Sebelius, saying she would “go down in history” for being the HHS Secretary when “health care became a right,” not a privilege.
He acknowledged the problems with Obamacare’s rollout, noting the “bumps and bruises” on both him and Sebelius. But much like he did in a Rose Garden statement last week, he trumpeted that 7.5 million people had enrolled in insurance plans established by the law.
“We lost the first quarter of open enrollment … The final score speaks for itself,” Obama said.
The White House announced on late Thursday evening that Sebelius would be resigning.
Obama announced that he was nominating White House Office of Management and Budget Director Sylvia Mathews Burwell to replace Sebelius as HHS Secretary. He said he hoped the Senate confirmed Burwell “without delay.”
Sebelius’ statement on her resignation was perhaps befitting of her tenure at HHS, and of the law’s overall rollout. She was missing a page of the prepared remarks of her speech.
“Unfortunately,” she said, “a page is missing.”
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