Sebelius Resignation an Opportunity for Honest Debate
(Washington, D.C.) – Today the President accepted the resignation of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius, and announced his intention to nominate Sylvia Mathews Burwell to succeed her. The U.S. Senate will conduct hearings and will then be required to approve the nomination. Ms. Burwell has served for less than a year as Director of Office of Management and Budget, and has no background in health policy.
The Senate consideration of the nomination brings an opportunity to discuss the first year under the new health care law. Despite its unpopularity in polls and problems with implementation, the President and the Senate leadership have refused to consider legislative changes. Supporters of the law have rejected numerous proposals to amend it, including proposals to:
· delay the law for a year;
· repeal the special deal offered to Members of Congress and their staff;
· lift the mandate on employers to offer insurance;
· cancel the insurance company bailout; and
· delay the tax penalty on Americans who do not buy insurance.
Daniel Garza, Executive Director of The LIBRE, Initiative released the following statement:
"Secretary Sebelius was tasked with performing the impossible – to successfully implement a complex and unworkable law. Still, her tenure was mostly characterized by a lack of candor, a host of unilateral changes, higher premiums, and other broken promises – with no serious attempts to work with Congress to fix them.
The President and other supporters of this new system have often said that it should not be repealed, but fixed. Now – as the launch phase ends and the nation prepares for a second year under the law – this is the time for a candid and open debate about what went wrong and what comes next.
Enrollment is far below what was promised when the law passed. Premiums will rise, and many who now have insurance find they do not have access to doctors and care. The White House has delayed controversial Medicare cuts that it insisted were needed to prevent the law from growing the debt.
The American people are right to be concerned that Ms. Burwell has no experience in health care policy. The Senate and the White House must ensure the next Secretary does not repeat the mistakes of the past. It is time to reform the reform."