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Obama: Sebelius Will 'Go Down in History'

He praises outgoing health chief, and his nominee to succeed her
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Apr 11, 2014 12:03 PM CDT
Obama: Sebelius Will 'Go Down in History'
President Obama, health chief nominee Sylvia Mathews Burwell, center, and Kathleen Sebelius.   (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)

(Newser) – President Obama made it official today, announcing that Kathleen Sebelius is indeed resigning as health secretary. Politico highlights a quote by Obama at today's ceremony in the Rose Garden that could probably work for both her supporters and critics: She will "go down in history" as the leader of Health and Human Services when ObamaCare came into being. "She’s got bumps, I’ve got bumps, bruises," he added. "But we did it because we knew of all the people we met across the country who had lost a home, had put off care, had decided to stay with a job instead of start a business because they were uncertain about their health care situation." Sebelius, for her part, called her role in implementing the Affordable Care Act the "most meaningful work I've ever been a part of," reports the New York Times.

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As expected, Obama also named Sylvia Mathews Burwell, currently the White House budget director, as his nominee to replace Sebelius. "When the government was forced to shut down last October, and even as her own team was barred from reporting to work, Sylvia was a rock, a steady hand on the wheel who helped navigate the country through a very challenging time," Obama said. He made a joking reference to her 96-0 confirmation last year to her current post, while Mitch McConnell suggested things wouldn't be as easy this time around, reports the Wall Street Journal. She "will be nominated to lead one of the most important jobs in government," McConnell said. "And I hope this is the start of a candid conversation about ObamaCare’s shortcomings and the need to protect Medicare for today’s seniors, their children, and their grandchildren." (Read more Kathleen Sebelius stories.)

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