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New HHS secretary nominee already under GOP fire

Former Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius resigned Thursday upon the conclusion of the open enrollment period of Healthcare.gov, citing the "terribly flawed" roll-out of the healthcare exchanges.
By Aileen Graef Follow @AileenGraef Contact the Author   |   April 14, 2014 at 12:05 PM

WASHINGTON, April 14 (UPI) -- The new nominee for HHS secretary, Sylvia Mathews Burwell, is already taking fire from Republicans saying that she will use the "numbers" to boost Obamacare.

President Barack Obama announced Thursday his nomination of former Office of Management and Budget (OMB) director Sylvia Mathews Burwell to take the place of Kathleen Sebelius as HHS secretary and oversee the healthcare exchanges that are a part of his signature legislation.

Republicans, who have tried to dismantle and repeal the healthcare law repeatedly, quickly expressed their doubt over the president's choice. Rep. Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn, said on Face the Nation that Burwell will use her expertise with numbers to make it look like the healthcare law is working.

"They know they got a mass problem with Obamacare and the numbers are not going to work out so the problem is actuarially sound. And they're going to have to have somebody to kind of spin the numbers and this is something with Burwell coming from OMB, I think they're expecting her to do for them. How many of these 7 million people have paid? How many have actually signed up and paid and completed the process? How many got subsidies? How many got Medicaid? How many are young? You know if those numbers don't work out exactly right, they've got a big funding issue on their hands."

Burwell was unanimously confirmed by the Senate as OMB director last year after working for the Clinton administration, the Bill and Melinda Gates foundation, and as president of the Walmart Foundation.


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