The White House approached the departure of Health and Human Services secretary Kathleen Sebelius as politically shrewd as it could, according to Charles Krauthammer. While problems with Obamacare and HealthCare.gov will endure, the Obama administration can now act as if it has turned a page from the Sebelius era.
“I think this was a textbook case of how to do it efficiently,” he said on Friday’s Special Report. Dumping Sebelius at the height of the website’s woes would have been a big political hit in the public’s perception of the law; now, she can leave on a high note after reaching the goal of 7 million enrollees, or “whatever the phony number is today,” Krauthammer explained.
The resignation is also far away enough from the midterms elections that it will likely not be an issue in November. Even if Republicans manage to slam the White House and Democrats over the health-care law during nominee Sylvia Mathews Burwell’s confirmation hearings — which Krauthammer was doubtful would happen given Republicans’ recent track record in congressional hearing — it’ll only be a “week or two” of negative press.
“I think this is sort of how you do it if you’re going to defenestrate a member of your Cabinet,” he said, “from a ground-floor window, so I don’t think she was actually injured in the fall.”