Washington • Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, says that the departure of Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius was handed a tough job implementing the Affordable Care Act and that made her unpopular for good reason.
Lee, who spoke last night with Fox News' Greta Van Susteren about Sebelius, added that it will be interesting to see how her appointed replacement, OMB's Sylvia Burwell, will handle the job.
"Well, look, this ultimately isn't about the person. It's about the policy. And Secretary Sebelius was in charge of implementing a very unpopular policy," Lee told Van Susteren. "And her departure signals the end of a very tumultuous era for the Obama administration. And so, it will be interesting to see what happens with the nominee, with Ms. Burwell, what she can do with this. Because she inherits a very, very difficult task. And she's gonna have a tough road ahead of her in terms of securing senate confirmation."
Lee also said that Sebelius became the fall guy for the health care law but she should take responsibility for the troubled roll out.
"She definitely took a lot of heat for the White House. And again, it's about a failed policy that she was asked to implement. You know, a lot of the implementation of that policy ended up making it even worse. But at the end of the day, she was given a very, very hard job. And that job ended up making her very unpopular and with some good reason."
Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, also said Sebelius faced a rough time with Obamacare but he struck a nicer tone about her resignation.
"Secretary Sebelius had one of the toughest jobs in Washington - implementing ObamaCare, a flawed law that continues to fall woefully short of its promises to the American people," Hatch said in a statement. "While we haven't always agreed, Secretary Sebelius did the best she could during the tumultuous and volatile rollout of the law. I thank her for her service and wish her and her family all the best in their future endeavors."
-- Thomas Burr
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