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News Roundup: An Executive Grilling and Bright Jobs Outlook

Cora Nucci, for HealthLeaders Media, November 4, 2013

In this week's HR headlines, Kathleen Sebelius faces members of Congress, a federal jobs report projects healthy growth in the healthcare sector for years to come, and a wellness program posts impressive stats.


Kathleen Sebelius

Kathleen Sebelius

We've all had bad days at work every now and then, but few of us can say we've had one as rough as Kathleen Sebelius last Wednesday.

That was the day the Secretary of Health and Human Services faced a panel of lawmakers demanding answers about the rocky rollout of healthcare.gov. It was an unenviable position to be in, but Sebelius took command in the opening moments by putting the responsibility for what she called the "debacle" on her own shoulders.

"You deserve better," Sebelius said in her opening remarks before the House Energy and Commerce Committee. "I apologize. I'm accountable to you for fixing these problems." Her willingness to take responsibility, however, didn't make the grilling [VIDEO] that was to come any easier to endure.

Nearing the end of the three-plus hour hearing, Sebelius's irritation was evident in an exchange with Rep. Greg Harper (R-MS) and in a remark to an aide, which was caught on a hot mic.

So should the secretary stay or should she go? Even before her appearance on Capitol Hill, calls for Sebelius's ouster were ringing throughout Washington. But the White House is not likely to ask for a resignation, at least not soon. For one thing, replacing Sebelius would require recruiting and vetting a replacement and then getting the nominee though a Senate confirmation.

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