Sebelius: I wasn’t pushed out — staying just “wasn’t an option”
posted at 6:31 pm on April 13, 2014 by Erika Johnsen
The obligatory Sunday-show exit interview from our now departed leader of the Department of Health and Human Services . A normal post-first term career change deferred until the the president’s crowning legislative achievement became operational, or the least inopportune moment possible to shove out an incompetent manager after a disastrous performance? The world may never know.
I made a decision at the election that I couldn’t leave along with a lot of my colleagues who left at the end of the first term. That did not seem to be even a topic to consider since there was still one more chapter in this Affordable Care Act that needed to roll out and that had been one of my responsibilities as the secretary of Health and Human Services, so staying on made good sense to me. I also thought that at the end of open enrollment was a logical time to leave. There is never a good time — there’s going to be another open enrollment, there are changes down the road. But the president and I began to talk, you know, after the first of the year, and I went back to him in early March and said, you know, I’m really optimistic that we’re going to meet the targets, and the enrollment is going well. The site is working well. I think once we finish this first chapter, you really should begin to look for the next secretary who can be here through the end of your term. And that really wasn’t a commitment I was willing to make, and he knew that.
Ah, well. I think it’s probably safe to say that her political career has come to a close — but no matter, right? K Street awaits with open arms, I’m sure.