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Exit interview

Kathleen Sebelius defends ObamaCare, says resignation was her idea

Kathleen Sebelius defends ObamaCare, says resignation was her idea

Outgoing Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius says that ObamaCare is working despite the terrible rollout that greeted the administration back in October. And she claims her departure from the White House was not the president's decision, as some have speculated, but rather her own.

In an interview with NBC's Andrea Mithcell that aired on Sunday's Meet the Press, Sebelius said she informed President Obama he needed to have an HHS chief who could steward the law for the remainder of his presidency, a time commitment she wasn't willing to make.

"I made it pretty clear that that really wasn't an option, to stay on," she said. "I mean, I thought it was fair to either commit until January of 2017 or leave with enough time that he would get a strong, competent leader."

The White House announced late Thursday that Sebelius would resign, though ObamaCare critics have demanded since the initial rollout debacle that she be fired. And as problems with Healthcare.gov lingered, even some Democrats called on Sebelius to step down, if only to help the administration save face.

In the interview, Sebelius also called the ObamaCare launch "terribly flawed and terribly difficult," adding that the administration's belief it would be ready in time for the October 1 rollout was "just flat out wrong." Still, she said the law was more or less working as envisioned, and that it was already giving people access to more and better health care choices. --Jon Terbush