KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

Tavenner Nominated Again To Lead Medicare

President Obama asks the Senate to confirm the woman who is now acting administrator for the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.

The Wall Street Journal: Tavenner Nominated For Medicare, Medicaid Post
The Obama administration on Thursday made its second formal nomination of Marilyn Tavenner to head the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. Ms. Tavenner was first nominated for the post in November 2011 and has been the acting administrator of the agency since then, overseeing the two major health-insurance programs operated by the federal government, as well as implementation of key parts of the health-care law. She is a former nurse and hospital chief executive (Radnofsky, 2/7).

Kaiser Health News: Grassley Calls For Senate Consideration Of Tavenner's Nomination
President Barack Obama Thursday once again nominated Marilyn Tavenner to head the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, and a key GOP senator said the chamber should consider the nomination. "The Senate should give Ms. Tavenner every opportunity to show she is a worthy choice to lead the agency responsible for Medicare, Medicaid, the Children's Health Insurance Program, and a lot of the implementation of the Obama health care law," said Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa., who is a member of the Finance Committee and its former chairman and ranking member. Grassley said he hoped the panel would give Tavenner’s nomination "due consideration through regular order" (Carey, 2/8).

Politico: Tavenner Renominated For CMS Administrator
The White House on Thursday renominated Marilyn Tavenner to be administrator of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. But don’t expect to see action on her nomination soon. The second nomination was expected, as Tavenner's 2011 nomination to the same job expired at the end of the previous Congress. But it's unclear whether Senate Democrats will move her confirmation given that it has become so difficult to get a Medicare chief confirmed in the past few years under both Republican and Democratic administrations (Haberkorn, 2/7).

Modern Healthcare: Tavenner Nomination Could Face Resistance From ACA Foes
President Barack Obama's re-nomination of Marilyn Tavenner as administrator of the CMS on Thursday drew wide support from health industry leaders but an uncertain outlook on Capitol Hill. Tavenner, who leads the agency in an acting capacity, was first nominated in 2011 following the resignation of Dr. Donald Berwick, the previous acting administrator. Sen. Max Baucus (D-Mont.), chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, opted not to advance her initial nomination and it expired at the end of the last Congress. Health industry leaders pushed for her new nomination to advance (Daly, 2/7).

Bloomberg: Tavenner Nominated By Obama To Run Medicare, Medicaid
President Barack Obama re-nominated Marilyn Tavenner to be the administrator in charge of the $820 billion U.S. Medicare and Medicaid programs. Obama asked the Senate in a notice today to confirm the appointment of Tavenner, 61, who has been acting administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services since 2011. The agency, which oversees taxpayer-funded health programs for the poor, elderly and disabled, hasn't had a Senate-confirmed leader since 2006 (Wayne, 2/7).

Meanwhile, a Republican senator is raising questions about Medicare funding.

The Hill: Sessions Warns Lew’s Nomination To Treasury At Risk Over Medicare Trigger
Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) on Thursday criticized the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for failing to answer questions about Treasury Secretary nominee Jack Lew's failure to propose legislation to shore up Medicare and said this failure could put Lew's nomination at risk. Sessions wrote to OMB over the weekend asking why it has not proposed a bill to deal with the shortfall in Medicare funding despite current law that requires the administration to propose a legislative fix when funding problems are identified (Kasperowicz, 2/7).

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