By Josh Hicks (Washington Post)
Confused about all the changes lately with President Obama’s Cabinet? In the past two months, Obama has nominated new department heads at a rate normally associated with post-election turnover or political turmoil.
In this case, the shuffling and replacements appear to be related to an alleged scandal with the Department of Veterans Affairs and the botched rollout of HealthCare.gov, which the Department of Health and Human Services appears to have corrected, based on its recent enrollment numbers.
Below is a list to guide you through the recent changes that have taken place in the wake of those problems:
Out: Robert Petzel, the undersecretary for health, resigned last week amid allegations that VA health clinics nationwide have cooked their books to hide treatment delays, allowing the medical centers to falsely meet the department’s goal of seeing patients within 14 days of requesting an appointment. Several whistleblowers have said VA officials implemented the schemes to earn bonuses.
Petzel’s forced resignation did little to assuage veterans groups and lawmakers who want VA Secretary Eric Shinseki to take strong action against department officials who are responsible for the alleged actions. The undersecretary had planned on retiring this year anyway, as the VA announced in September 2013.
HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES
Out: Kathleen Sebelius, the HHS secretary who oversaw the failed launch of HealthCare.gov. Glitches plagued the system early on and prevented users from signing up for health insurance through the new federal marketplace for the uninsured.
Sebelius, who headed HHS for five years, resigned in April, less than two weeks after the department reported a sharp turnaround for the once-troubled Web site. The administration said more than 7 million Americans had enrolled for insurance through the system.
HOUSING AND URBAN DEVELOPMENT
Moving: Secretary Shaun Donovan, who, as noted above, has been tapped to replace Burwell at OMB.
OFFICE OF MANAGEMENT AND BUDGET
Moving: Sylvia Mathews Burwell