TODAY

TODAY   |  April 11, 2014

Health secretary resigns after Obamacare troubles

Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius announced her resignation Thursday in the wake of turmoil surrounding the rollout of Obamacare. NBC’s chief political director Chuck Todd reports.

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>>> now to the resignation of a key member of the obama administration. word came late on thursday that health and human services secretary kathleen sebelius is stepping down. her time in that role highlighted by the troubled rollout of the president's landmark health care law . nbc's chief white house correspondent and political director chuck todd has more on this. chuck, what's the impact?

>> reporter: well, matt, it's going to be interesting. later this morning, the president will make it official confirming that he has accepted the resignation of kathleen sebelius , hhs secretary, and he'll be replacing her with his budget director silvia burwell. of course, sebelius , after five years on the job, it's been the end of what's been a rocky tenure.

>> 400,000 additional americans have signed up, and we expect that number to continue to grow.

>> reporter: that was kathleen sebelius on capitol hill thursday, giving her a chance to turn in her resignation on a high note . while sebelius says she was not pushed out and that she's leaving on her own terms, there have been hints for months that her job could be in jeopardy after the rocky rollout of healthcare.gov. in our interview back in november, while the president praised sebelius for the insurance product , he did question some of her management decisions.

>> i think she'd be the first to admit that if we had to do it all over again, that there would have been a whole lot more questions that were asked in terms of how this thing is working.

>> reporter: after that rollout, she became a regular target for critics in congress.

>> why aren't you losing your insurance?

>> because i'm part of the federal employees --

>> why aren't you in the exchange? you're in charge of this law.

>> will you admit it will have a higher premium?

>> no, i do not.

>> reporter: in addition to the management issues, the white house also lost confidence in her ability to sell the product publicly. senior aides were not happy with how she struggled in what should have been a friendly interview with jon stewart .

>> businesses don't get subsidies.

>> so they get to delay because they're not going to get any extra money, but individuals don't, because they will?

>> again, they're in the market already.

>> let me ask you this. am i a stupid man?

>> reporter: after that episode, sebelius was only seen and rarely heard. the president didn't even praise her when he claimed victory on the launch of obamacare just last week. as for silvia burwell, she's likely to get confirmed. that's not going to be the hard part. the hard part for her is she's going to have a tough confirmation process because republicans are going to see an opportunity in an election year to launch, once again, a campaign against health care .

>> chuck todd , thank you. it is a big story here in washington this morning. thank you.