President Obama has picked Marilyn Tavenner, a nurse who got her start in hospital administration, to be the next administrator of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS).
Obama has been trying for more than a year to get the Senate to confirm Dr. Donald Berwick, the CMS administrator and a professor of pediatrics and health care policy at the Harvard Medical School.
Berwick has been serving as the CMS administrator under a recess appointment that is set to expire at the end of the year.
Senate Republicans have blocked the Berwick nomination, noting that, in the past, Berwick has praised the United Kingdom’s single-payer health finance system. In March, the Obama administration said it would stick with Berwick, but Berwick submitted his resignation last week.
CMS, an arm of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, runs Medicare and Medicaid and also oversees HHS efforts to implement the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 (PPACA).
Tavenner has been the principal deputy administrator at CMS since February 2010. She was the acting CMS administrator from February 2010 to July 2010.
Before that, Tavenner was the Virginia secretary of health and human resources.