Healthcare voice leaving White House

With healthcare reform passed and signed, the White House's top spokeswoman on the issue is leaving the administration.

Linda Douglass, President Barack Obama's spokeswoman though the contentious healthcare debate and a former journalist, said Thursday that "leaving this great team is bittersweet."

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"After nearly two years of work that has been exhilarating and grueling in equal measure, I am going to step off the treadmill for awhile and rediscover the experience of dining with my husband on a regular basis," Douglass said. "It has been a privilege to be part of the health care team, and I will be cheering with pride from the sidelines as this historic law takes effect."

The announcement of Douglass's departure comes while Obama is in Prague signing a new START treaty.

Dan Pfeiffer, White House communications director, said Douglass "has been and will continue to be a valued adviser to this president and this White House."

"She was instrumental in the passage of historic health reform," Pfeiffer said. "We’ll miss her hard work and the cheer she brought to the effort.”

Douglass joins Anita Dunn and Ellen Moran, both former communications directors in the Obama White House, in departing the administration during Obama's first term.