After the public relations fiasco — and the disservice to American health care consumers — that defined the Obamacare rollout, it was a matter of time before former Kansas Gov. Kathleen Sebelius resigned as secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services.
Exactly what went wrong with the massive national unveiling of the Affordable Care Act and why its problems weren’t anticipated doesn’t matter as much now as the fact that Mrs. Sebelius was in charge. And in the vicious partisan environment in Washington, D.C., she was too good a target for Republicans to ignore. They opposed President Barack Obama’s health care initiative even before Mrs. Sebelius took office. Though demonized during congressional hearings on the Obamacare rollout, she could dish it out as well as take it, referring to GOP critics as “people who I don’t work for and who do not want this program to work in the first place.”
Mrs. Sebelius served five years, which is longer than many members of presidential Cabinets. And she can take consolation — though President Obama might not concede her much credit — in the fact that a stampede in the waning days of the enrollment period resulted in an impressive total of 7.5 million Americans signing up for the program.
If her resignation marks the end of her political career, Mrs. Sebelius, 65, can look back on a successful one. A Democrat in a Republican state, she served as a Kansas legislator, insurance commissioner and, with distinction, as a two-term governor.