Kathleen Sebelius speech [VIDEO]: Obamacare leader even fumbles resignation speech, misses a page
U.S. Health Secretary Kathleen Sebelius gave her resignation speech on Friday, closing another rocky chapter in Obamacare's tumultuous history. However, the woman whose name will go down for bungling the Obamacare rollout, even managed to bungle her resignation speech, realizing mid-way through that a page of the speech text was missing.
"Unfortunately, a page is missing," Sebelius embarrassingly admitted during her farewell address.
Sebelius has led Obamacare since its 2009 passage, and the rollout of the legislation has been endlessly dogged with problems.
The Health Insurance Marketplace that is the heart of the law was replete with problems during its website launch. In the first days of the exchange's rollout only a handful of people were able to register for healthcare after thousands of users reported site crashes, errors, and overall dissatisfaction with the federal healthcare exchange. Even many of the people who managed to successfully go through the website sign up process, later found out that their registrations were invalid, with no record of their applications being found by insurance companies.
Despite the bungled first few months of the Obamacare website, things improved this year, and by the end of the first quarter of 2014, Obamacare reportedly exceeded its goal of having 7 million people sign-up.
"I know that this law has been at the center of much debate and discourse in Washington," Sebelius wrote in a message to her department. "But what this enrollment demonstrates is that the Affordable Care Act is working and much needed."
After the resignation announcement, former Obama senior adviser David Axelrod tweeted that "Sebelius has lots to be proud of, including the surprisingly strong finish on exchange signups after rocky start."
House Minority leader Nancy Pelosi expressed admiration for Sebelius' commitment and determination.
"From day one, Secretary Kathleen Sebelius has remained laser-focused on a single purpose: to make health care a right, not a privilege, for all Americans," Pelosi wrote in a statement. "Her leadership has been forceful, effective, and essential."
President Obama also congratulated Sebelius, and the Department of Health and Human Services, for staying the course.
The "team at HHS turned the corner, got it fixed, got the job done, and the final score speaks for itself," President Obama said at the resignation announcement.
President Obama also announced his choice for Sebelius' replacement; Office of Management and Budget Director Sylvia Mathews Burwell. Burwell's nomination must now be confirmed by the Senate.
With Sebelius' departure, only five of President Obama's original Cabinet members remain: Attorney General Eric Holder, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, Education Secretary Arne Duncan, Housing and Urban Development Secretary Shaun Donovan, and Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki.