President Obama Nominates New HHS Secretary

President Obama tapped a new lieutenant on Friday to lead the vast array of federal health programs, saying goodbye to Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius who is resigning after a long and rocky tenure with the administration.

Sebelius announced her resignation just days after the ObamaCare enrollment period drew to a close. She and the rest of the administration have touted the more than 7 million people who have signed up under the Affordable Care Act exchanges, but the system's disastrous launch last fall and other lingering concerns with the ObamaCare rollout had become a heavy weight on the outgoing secretary.

To replace her, Obama nominated White House budget office director Sylvia Matthews Burwell.

Burwell is subject to Senate confirmation. It's unclear whether that will be a contentious process. She originally was confirmed to the White House post on a 96-0 vote a year ago.

But the controversy over ObamaCare, as the midterm election season moves into full swing, is far from over. Republicans continue to warn about premium spikes and other problems on the horizon.

"Regardless of the administration's public explanation for the Secretary's exit, Obamacare has been a rolling disaster and her resignation is cold comfort to the millions of Americans who were deceived about what it would mean for them and their families," Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell said in a statement. "Countless Americans have unexpectedly been forced out of the plans they had and liked, are now shouldering dramatically higher premiums, and can no longer use the doctors and hospitals they choose. .... Secretary Sebelius may be leaving, but the problems with this law and the impact it's having on our constituents aren't."

The Harvard-educated Burwell was confirmed as White House budget director last April, and previously worked at the top levels of major foundations, including as president of the Walmart Foundation.

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