Transcript for 'This Week': Sebelius Steps Down
Kathleen Sebelius called it quits this week, the president claiming obamacare's climbing enrollment means her tenure was success. That after Jeff Zeleny's report. Reporter: A changing of the guard for the guardian of obamacare. As Kathleen Sebelius steps down. I know it wouldn't be easy. Reporter: President Obama looks for a new start. Nominating budget director Sylvia Matthews Burwell for the post. So, now, a hard sale on how Burwell will be different. She's proven manager. Reporter: But still so many questions on how the law was working. Break down that 7.5 million number. We'll have data available when the data is reliable enough to provide. Reporter: While some republicans praise Burwell's nomination the top republican on the budget committee says she has a comparatively thin resume. This exchange from a hearing last month could offer a window into what's next. You look innocent the way you look at me here like you don't know what I'm talking about. You can't simply answer the question. I think there are some questions that aren't simply yes or no question. You're refusing to answer it. I'll answer it. Reporter: With the midterm elections six months away, obamacare is once again under the microscope. For "This week," Jeff Zeleny. ABC news, Washington. Okay, let's get in now with the roundtable. We're back again. Bob Reich, you saw the president claiming success. Yes, I think that actually Kathleen Sebelius had she been sacked or left six months ago, you know, it would have been a terrible failure, a failure for her and the Obama administration, but she's leaving on a high note, this is a success. It's harder and harder for republicans to claim that the affordable care act is failure. Laura? 7.5 people lost their policies. We think probably the majority of people who signed up of the 7.5 million are those who lost their policies because of obamacare. When you dig into what's happening to health care, the doctor/patient relationship, increasing premiums, these are real-world consequences for family budgets. On Sebelius, she was lauded as a great governor of Kansas, getting away from the personality on Kathleen Sebelius, this is what's wrong with our system of government in our cabinet. I have had this conversation with many people in Washington. We have a cabinet that no longer -- it doesn't operate like you would normally want to in a state. Today, all of the powers is held by the white house. The administration of the white house. The cabinet is getting very little. It's all photo-ops. We don't really have a delegated system of government that actually works that way. The implementation of the website was her responsibility. I got to say something, the idea that Sylvia Matthews has a thin resume is the dumbest thing I have ever heard in my life. This woman's a Rhodes scholar, she was the director of obm. Ran the Gates foundation. She's daughter from west Virginia. Her dad is an optometrist. Probably one of the most competent people who's ever served in Washington. She'll get in. She was confirmed 96 to 0. Kathleen Sebelius leaving is frankly could happened to president Obama, the best thing to happen for obamacare. Listen, if she had been asked to resign or fired during the debacle of the rollout, it would have been an admission of failure. She was getting very little power as every cabinet member. Let's ask a very simple question -- if this were an ncaa coach, or a corporate CEO and we had a product rollout, as bungled as this, it wouldn't be five months later. Start the season 0-10 and you ended the season 30-12. You say, hey, that's pretty good. Deserve some credit. Why isn't obamacare popular if it's so great? It's working. You said it was going to collapse. You said it was going to cost part-time jobs. It's costing 2 million jobs. None of that has happened. Get over it. It's working. It's going to work. We don't know 7 million people are, until we do, we don't know whether it's working or it's not working. Lot of problems still in this. Let's remember, the number of extensions and delays that haven't been implemented yet. This is the obamacare, the affordable care act will continue to be a bone of contention. But it's finally up and running. Democrats are going to lose big. Before we get to that, something that Matt raised about cabinet members, I was a cabinet secretary. It's a change, this administration does have and hold a lot of responsibility in terms of policymaker. Cabinet members have been downgraded to some extent, I think that may be a trend, a long-term trend. Holding a cabinet member responsible is an odd thing to do with this diverse responsibility. I'm not apologizing for what happened. I think the rollout was awful, but, I think it's just unfair to blame one cabinet member. And Matthew, I want to move on to the question of what this means coming up in November, laura said that the democrats are going to lose big. That may be. But they do seem to be showing a little more spring in their step on the issue of obamacare, you have people like mark Pryor down in Arkansas doing better than people expected. Democrats trying to defend it, republicans talking about it. It's about where the direction of the country is. It's really about the state of the economy and whether the great majority of people feel like they have moved the last five, six years of the presidency. In the end, republ going to pick up seats in the house and senate. Whether they take the senate is an open question. It's about the fundamental direction of the country and it's negative. James, 30 seconds. The direction of the country is down. Six years are historically bad. I think the democrats right now would be glad to walk away with a few on house seats. Now, I actually think things get better. I have a conversation every day with Americans about how their lives are going on the radio. Class is under so much pressure with fuel and food costs. They don't feel like the country is on the right track. Obamacare. I think obamacare is going to be a very big part of the election. But it's mistake by republicans to base their campaign solely on that issue.
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