Kathleen Sebelius, the health and human services secretary, is resigning, ending a stormy five-year tenure marred by the disastrous rollout of President Obama’s signature legislative achievement, the Affordable Care Act.
Mr. Obama accepted Ms. Sebelius’s resignation this week, and on Friday morning, he will nominate Sylvia Mathews Burwell, the director of the Office of Management and Budget, to replace her, officials said.
The departure comes as the Obama administration tries to move beyond its early stumbles in carrying out the law, convince a still-skeptical public of its lasting benefits, and help Democratic incumbents, who face blistering attack ads after supporting the legislation, survive the midterm elections this fall.
Sylvia Mathews Burwell has been mired in fiscal fights and has also handled health policy as part of her job as budget director.
Officials said Ms. Sebelius, 65, made the decision to resign and was not forced out. But the frustration at the White House over her performance had become increasingly clear, as administration aides worried that the crippling problems at HealthCare.gov, the website set up to enroll Americans in insurance exchanges, would result in lasting damage to the president’s legacy.
Even last week, as Mr. Obama triumphantly announced that enrollments in the exchanges had exceeded seven million, she did not appear next to him for the news conference in the Rose Garden.
The president is hoping that Ms. Burwell, 48, a Harvard- and Oxford-educated West Virginia native with a background in economic policy, will bring an intense focus and management acumen to the department. The budget office, which she has overseen since April of last year, is deeply involved in developing and carrying out health care policy.
Let’s take a closer look at the next HHS Secretary, shall we? According to Forbes.com,
Sylvia Mathews Burwell, President, The Walmart Foundation (Jan. 2012 – April, 2013); President, Global Development Program (Apr. 2006 – Dec. 2011). Ms. Burwell joined the Foundation in 2001 as Executive Vice President and served as its Chief Operating Officer from 2002 to April 2006. Prior to joining the Foundation, she served as Deputy Director of the Office of Management and Budget in Washington, D.C. from 1998. Ms. Burwell served as Deputy Chief of Staff to President Bill Clinton from 1997 to 1998, and was Chief of Staff to Treasury Secretary Robert Rubin from 1995 to 1997. She also served as Staff Director for the National Economic Council from 1993 to 1995. Ms. Burwell was Manager of President Clintons economic transition team. Prior to that, she was an Associate at McKinsey and Company from 1990 through 1992. She is a member of the Board of Directors of the Council on Foreign Relations, a member of the Aspen Strategy Group, the Trilateral Commission and the Nike Foundation Advisory Group, a member of the Board of the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa, an Advisory Board member for the Next Generation Initiative and the Peter G. Peterson Foundation, and a member of the Professional Advisory Board for the ALS Evergreen Chapter. Ms. Burwell received a bachelors degree in government, cum laude, from Harvard University in 1987 and a bachelors degree in philosophy, politics and economics from Oxford University, where she was a Rhodes Scholar. Ms. Burwell has been a Director of MetLife and Metropolitan Life Insurance Company since 2004. On April 19, 2013, Ms. Sylvia Mathews Burwell resigned from the Board of Directors of MetLife, Inc., effective as of that date.
One group in Ms. Burwell’s biography jumped out at me. The Aspen Strategy Group is a part of the Aspen Institute.
Who are they? I’m glad you asked.
According to discoverthenetworks.org, the main things to remember about the Aspen Institute are that the institute
Views the United States as a nation rife with deep-seated “structural racism”
Warns that “the circumpolar Arctic region is experiencing significant ecological change due to global climate change” caused by human industrial activity
Receives financial support from George Soros’s Open Society Institute
…AI has numerous noteworthy connections to the billionaire philanthropist George Soros. For example, in August 2004 Soros and other wealthy Democrats gathered at the Institute to brainstorm ways in which they could use their fortunes to engineer the defeat of George W. Bush in the upcoming presidential election. That same year, Soros spoke at an AI seminar (which also featured an appearance by Al Gore) titled “America’s Role in the Fight Against Global Poverty.” In 2006 Aspen sponsored a Soros talk where the billionaire promoted his book The Age of Fallibility: Consequences of the War on Terror. Jim Spiegelman, Aspen’s director of communications, formerly worked as a “special assistant” to Soros. And Arjun Gupta, who serves on Aspen’s board of overseers, is a vice president with the Chatterjee Group which advises Soros and the Soros Fund Management Group.
Soros’s Open Society Institute (OSI) has awarded the Aspen Institute numerous large grants over the years, including $50,000 in 2004, another $50,000 in 2005, $195,000 in 2008, and $125,000 in 2009. The latter grant was earmarked for “international human rights and international humanitarian law and their application in American jurisprudence.” In 2011, OSI funded AI’s publication of a report blaming the overrepresentation of blacks and Latinos in U.S. prison populations on “the failure of so many of our society’s institutions.”
Soon after the inauguration of President Barack Obama in 2009, AI developed a close working relationship with the U.S. State Department. Said Secretary of State Hillary Clinton that year: “We can’t imagine a better partner than the Aspen Institute.”
So, the White House Door revolves again. A Hardcore Liberal leaves, replaced by another Hardcore Liberal.
Incestuous little bunch, aren’t they?
Of course, Sibelius is “getting while the getting is good”, before the rest of the you-know-what hits the rotary oscillator.
But, as long as OUR MONEY holds out, the Obama Administration will keep on spending it.
I wonder if Uncle George Soros would give us American Taxpayers a grant, too?
Until He Comes,