Friday, August 01, 2014

Did Sebelius quit as political cover for Obamacare?

By DYLAN LYSEN, Herald Staff Writer | 4/11/2014

Critics of Kathleen Sebelius don’t understand the amount of stress and pressure she was under, Caren Rugg said. Sebelius stuck it out through the toughest part of the implementation of the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare, and now she deserves a break, Rugg said.

“People have no idea how incredibly taxing that job is, especially given the battle that has been waged for the last five years by Republicans to keep millions of Americans uninsured,” Rugg, an Ottawa Democrat, said. “I think she rode out the tough part of it, she got the bill passed and implemented, and I think she deserves the break.”

Critics of Kathleen Sebelius don’t understand the amount of stress and pressure she was under, Caren Rugg said. Sebelius stuck it out through the toughest part of the implementation of the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare, and now she deserves a break, Rugg said.

“People have no idea how incredibly taxing that job is, especially given the battle that has been waged for the last five years by Republicans to keep millions of Americans uninsured,” Rugg, an Ottawa Democrat, said. “I think she rode out the tough part of it, she got the bill passed and implemented, and I think she deserves the break.”

Sebelius, who previously served as Kansas governor, resigned Friday from President Obama’s cabinet where she worked as secretary of Health and Human Services for the past five years. Her resignation comes several months after Republican Party members called for her resignation during the first portion of the Affordable Care Act roll-out and the difficulties healthcare.gov caused for those trying to enroll. More than 7 million Americans have signed up for health care coverage through the federal service, according to the White House.

“What Kathleen will go down in history for is serving as the secretary of health and human services when the United States of America finally declared that quality, affordable health care is not a privilege but it is a right for every citizen,” Obama said Friday in a Rose Garden ceremony that featured several standing ovations, according to the New York Times.

Obama nominated Sylvia Mathews Burwell, director of White House Office Management and Budget, to take over Sebelius’s seat, according to media reports. The nomination must be approved by the U.S. Senate.

Bob Fluke, Franklin County Republican Central Committee chairman, said he didn’t think Sebelius’ move would change Republican’s opinion of the health care law.

“In a way I feel sorry for her. She took the heat for something [because] she was in control of it and should have been aware of it, but I think she was kind of blind sided,” Fluke said. “She knew she was taking the heat, and if you take the heat away, the fire goes out, I guess.”

U.S. Sen. Pat Roberts, R-Kan., said Obamacare won’t be remembered as Sebelius’ mess, and her resignation will do little to tamp down opposition.

“This decision by Secretary Sebelius to resign is prudent, but overdue,” Roberts said. “A new secretary has been nominated, Sylvia Mathews Burwell, but with Obamacare, nothing will alter. Obamacare is the president’s legacy. The president will unilaterally change what doesn’t work. The March toward socialized medicine will continue.”

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