Tavenner Confirmed as CMS Administrator
The Senate on May 15 confirmed Marilyn Tavenner as administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), making her the first Senate-confirmed administrator since 2006. Tavenner has served for more than a year as acting CMS administrator. Provider and advocacy groups praised the confirmation, with the American Hospital Association saying she “has demonstrated her willingness to listen to, learn from, and work in partnership with the nation’s health care providers.” Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D-Mont.) described Tavenner as an excellent choice to lead CMS. Tavenner’s nomination was held up briefly when Sen. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa), chairman of the Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee, placed a hold on it April 24. The hold was in response to the Obama administration’s taking some $332 million from the Prevention and Public Health Fund, which Harkin championed and pushed to be included in the Affordable Care Act. The administration said it needed the money to help pay for consumer education and outreach efforts on new health insurance marketplaces, which begin enrollment in October. Harkin released the hold May 7.
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