Obama's New Health and Human Services Secretary in The Hot Seat on The Hill

Posted: May 08, 2014 8:20 AM

President Obama's nominee to replace Kathleen Sebelius, former White House Budget Director Sylvia Burwell, will face tough questions today by lawmakers sitting on the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee. Burwell is expected to be confirmed, but will no doubt be forced to answer dozens of questions about the ongoing failures of Obamacare and how she plans to fix problems moving forward.

"Sylvia is a proven manager, and she knows how to deliver results. And she’ll need to be a proven manager because these are tough tasks, big challenges," Obama said last month during the announcement of Burwell's nomination from the Rose Garden.

At this point, Democrats and the administration have admitted there are problems with Obamacare that should be fixed rather than repealing the legislation. Today, Burwell will be expected by Republicans to detail those fixes and will be asked to explain how she plans to work with Congress moving forward to get changes put into place. Her confirmation hearings give Republicans a chance to further expose the ongoing disaster of the new law and to ask detailed questions about administration claims. Just this week we learned many of Obamacare's 'eight million' enrollees are duplicates and last week we learned only 67 percent of enrollees have paid their first premium. It'll be interesting to see how she defends the program.

"I’m humbled, honored, and excited by the opportunity to build on the achievements that Kathleen, the President, and so many others have put in place," Burwell said last month when she was nominated by the President. "If confirmed by the Senate, I look forward to carrying on the important work of ensuring that children, families, and seniors have the building blocks of healthy and productive lives, whether it’s through implementing the Affordable Care Act, supporting affordable childcare, or finding new frontiers to prevent and treat disease."