Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius today turned in her resignation to President Barack Obama in a stunning shift in the continuing Obamacare saga.
Sylvia Mathews Burwell, who heads the White House Office of Management and Budget, will be nominated to take her place, according to multiple White House sources.
The White House press office announced Thursday night that he would announce the nomination at 11:00 a.m. Friday, a few hours before he departs for fundraisers, and a speech to Al Sharpton’s National Action Network, in New York City.
Sebelius was not expected to remain in the Obama administration through the end of the president’s second term, and several news outlets reported late Thursday that a White House official said she told Obama in March that she would be ready to leave ‘once open enrollment ended.’
She said in an interview with The Huffington Post on March 31, however – the last day of that six-month period – that she would stay at the top of the HHS organizational chart until Obamacare’s second open enrollment period arrived in November.
‘I’m in,’ Sebelius said then. But now she’s out.
The timing of her departure is designed to allow her to leave with a scrap of honor, coming just a week after Obama announced that his administration had exceeded its target of 7 million enrollees after months of fiasco.
The White House aims for her resignation to soften the constant barrage of controversies connected with the president’s flagship policy.
Republicans were quick to pounce Thursday, confounding those hopes.