Kathleen Sebelius Resigning as Health Secretary - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Kathleen Sebelius Resigning as Health Secretary

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Chuck Todd, NBC News

Health and Human Service Secretary Kathleen Sebelius is resigning, U.S. officials told NBC News on Thursday.

U.S. officials told NBC News that President Barack Obama on Friday will nominate Sylvia Mathews Burwell, currently director of the White House Office and Management and Budget, to succeed Sebelius, 65, the former governor of Kansas, who was an original member of the Cabinet that Obama appointed when he took office in January 2009.

No reason for Sebelius' departure, was immediately available, but she came under sustained criticism as head of the agency in charge of the controversial rollout of Obama's health care reform initiative.

Sebelius told Obama of her intentions in early March, a White official said, but she didn't tip her hand when she told the Senate Finance Committee earlier Thursday that 7.5 million Americans had signed up for health coverage under the new law — a figure that exceeded the original expectations despite the months of problems.

Sebelius has apologized numerous times for the glitch-prone website, which initially blocked many Americans from comparing and enrolling in health insurance plans. Testifying before a House committee in October, she conceded that the website, healthcare.gov, was "a miserably frustrating experience for way too many Americans."

The chief information officer for the HHS agency running the site resigned the following month.

The White House official said Obama was "deeply grateful" for Sebelius' service, but Republicans weren't so kind.

In a statement, Reince Priebus, chairman of the Republican National Committee, noted Sebelius' stewardship of the insurance website, saying, "No matter who is in charge of HHS, ObamaCare will continue to be a disaster and will continue to hurt hardworking Americans."

Burwell, 48, became head of the OMB a year ago, leaving as president of Walmart's charitable foundation to take the job. She was previously head of global development at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

Burwell was the official who gave the order in October to shut down the federal government in a budget dispute with House Republicans.
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