President Obama said he would nominate the director of the Office of Management and Budget, Sylvia Mathews Burwell, as the new secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services
President Obama said he would nominate the director of the Office of Management and Budget, Sylvia Mathews Burwell, as the new secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services. The president made the announcement at a White House press gathering April 11.
If confirmed, Burwell will replace Kathleen Sebelius, who announced her resignation at the same event.
Obama praised the departing Sibelius, who stepped into the position five years ago and oversaw the implementation of the Affordable Care Act.
"Yes, we lost the first quarter of open enrollment period with the problems with HealthCare.gov—and they were problems," Obama said. "But under Kathleen’s leadership, her team at HHS turned the corner, got it fixed, got the job done, and the final score speaks for itself: There are 7.5 million people across the country that have the security of health insurance, most of them for the very first time. And that's because of the woman standing next to me here today."
Sibelius offered praise for those she is leaving behind at the department.
"HHS is an amazing department, " she said. "It’s full of bright and talented and hardworking people who believe strongly in our important mission: providing health care and essential human services to all Americans."
The Senate confirmed Burwell as OMB director only a year ago. Prior to that, in addition to serving in leadership positions at the Walmart Foundation and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, she also held several positions in the Clinton administration, including deputy director of OMB.
"If confirmed by the Senate, I look forward to carrying on the important work of ensuring that children, families, and seniors have the building blocks of healthy and productive lives, whether it’s through implementing the Affordable Care Act, supporting affordable childcare, or finding new frontiers to prevent and treat disease," Burwell said.
See the president's remarks at: www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2014/04/11/remarks-president-nominating-sylvia-mathews-burwell-secretary-health-and.