Critics: HHS Pick Won't Quell Obamacare Flap


President Barack Obama's pick to head the Department of Health and Human Services is coming under close scrutiny.

Critics say White House Budget Director Sylvia Mathews Burwell will face the same logistical and political problems with Obamacare as her predecessor Kathleen Sebelius, but Burwell is not as qualified.

The Department of Health and Human Services has a $1 trillion budget, but Obamacare alone presents a long list of challenges, including the following:

  • Keeping premiums affordable
  • Overhauling the sign-up process to make it user friendly
  • Enforcing the law's penalties for people who don't sign up.

Political observers say the president's choice to lead this massive effort is not going to quiet the controversy that has surrounded the law. Instead, it will elevate the concerns.

"Burwell is an interesting choice and I think there are many of us and probably a bit of a growing consensus that they know they have got a math problem with Obamacare and the numbers are not going to work out so that the program is actuarially sound," Rep. Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn., told CBS's "Face the Nation" Sunday.

"And they are going to have to have somebody to kind of spin the numbers," she said.

Last year, the Senate confirmed Burwell as the new head of the Office of Management and Budget in a 96 to 0 vote.

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