Tavenner Nomination Finds Support From Health Care Stakeholders
Also in the news, Politico examines Marilyn Tavenner's political giving habits and CNN Money reports on the tenure of Donald Berwick, the exiting Centers of Medicare and Medicaid Services administrator.
The Hill: Health Groups Back Tavenner For Top Post At CMS
Stakeholders are formally registering their support for Marilyn Tavenner's nomination to lead the federal Medicare agency. The White House announced last Wednesday that it would tap Tavenner to lead the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services after controversial CMS Administrator Don Berwick steps down Dec 2. Support from health care stakeholders could help Tavenner avoid the political controversy that has surrounded Berwick. The American Medical Association backed Tavenner in a statement Monday (Baker, 11/28).
Politico Pro: Tavenner's Political Donations May Surprise
Marilyn Tavenner, tapped to become the next CMS administrator, made more than $23,500 in political contributions from 1998-2011, according to public records. Not all the money went to Democrats. She also donated to Republican Rep. Eric Cantor, now the House Majority Leader, who represented her longtime home city of Richmond. CMS is a politically-scrutinized agency, and Tavenner seems to have done her own share of scrutinizing politicians. From 1998 through 2011, the nurse-turned-executive-turned-public servant contributed more than $23,500 to Democrats, Republicans and hospital association PACs, according to the Federal Election Commission's online database. That's more than the last five CMS administrators combined (Dobias, 11/29).
CNN Money: Medicare In America: 'It Has To Get Better'
As administrator of Medicare and Medicaid, Donald Berwick has been in charge of paying for the health care of nearly one in three Americans. He has also had an important role in implementing last year's health reform law, which uses the Medicare system as a big lever to change how doctors and hospitals do business, in hopes of containing costs. Before taking the job — which he'll leave in early December — the Harvard-trained pediatrician was a leading advocate for quality and patient safety, and often a blunt critic of our health system. Berwick's nomination faced opposition from conservatives who focused on, among other things, his praise of government-run British health care. Instead of being confirmed by the Senate, Berwick was given a temporary "recess" appointment by President Obama, which was scheduled to run out this year (Gengler, 11/29).