Marilyn Tavenner re-nominated to lead CMS
President Barack Obama re-nominated Marilyn Tavenner on Thursday to be permanent administrator for the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. She has been serving as acting administrator since December 2011, when Donald Berwick, MD, stepped down.
If confirmed by the Senate, she will be the first permanent CMS administrator in seven years. Tavenner is the former Virginia Secretary of Health and Human Resources under then Gov. Tim Kaine and served as principal deputy administrator of CMS under Berwick.
The Senate did not take up Tavenner’s nomination in committee the first time that Obama named her because of sharp political divisions over the administration’s health reform law.
CMS operates programs, such as Medicare for seniors and Medicaid, in partnership with states, for low-income households. Both programs have critical roles in the realization of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and are lightning rods in talks about federal spending cuts.
Tavenner, a nurse and public health advocate, manages the $820 billion federal agency, which ensures healthcare coverage for 100 million Americans, with 10 regional offices and more than 4,000 employees nationwide.
With the passage of the Affordable Care Act, she also oversees the insurance reforms and health insurance exchange marketplaces included in the law.
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