What You Need to Know
- She used to appear in the credits for the U.S. federal government budget.
- She helped start HealthCare.gov.
- She spoke at a 2019 AHIP panel on the ACA state rule waiver program.
President Joe Biden today said he will nominate Chiquita White Brooks-LaSure to be his nominee for the post of administrator for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS).
As the head of CMS, Brooks-LaSure would manage or help regulate about $3 trillion in spending by Medicare plans, Medicaid plans, and the individual and group major medical insurance policies that come under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act and the Affordable Care Act (ACA).
Biden has picked a nominee who helped set up the major ACA commercial health insurance programs, including the ACA public health insurance exchange system. She also has a long record of recommending ways to add to the current, largely private health coverage system to get more people covered.
In June 12, 2019, for example, she testified before the House Ways and Means Committee, at a hearing on “Pathways to Universal Coverage,” on proposals for using government programs to offer new coverage options.
“These proposals do not endeavor to replace our existing healthcare system, but rather to provide a new, affordable insurance option by leveraging the existing insurance and delivery structure,” Brooks-Lasure said at the hearing, which was originally streamed live on the web.
“Unlike single-payer proposals, these proposals also envision that commercial insurance markets and other facets of the existing health care system remain in place,” she said.
Her nomination is subject to confirmation by the Senate.
CMS is an arm of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).
CMS officials usually represent HHS in “tri-agency” projects — joint efforts by HHS, the U.S. Treasury Department’s Internal Revenue Service and the U.S. Labor Department’s Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA) to implement federal health insurance laws and regulators.
CMS is directly in charge of running Medicare and HealthCare.gov.
It also works with the IRS and with state insurance regulators on regulation of individual major and family medical insurance.
The agency shares responsibility with the IRS and EBSA for setting regulations for fully insured group health plans, and its policies appear to influence the regulations EBSA sets for employers’ self-insured health plans.
Seema Verma served as the CMS administrator under former President Donald Trump. Liz Richter now is serving as Biden’s acting CMS administrator.
Brooks-LaSure grew up in New Jersey and earned a bachelor’s degree from Princeton University in 1996. She earned a master’s degree in public policy from Georgetown University in 1999.
She started out working as a program examiner in the Health and Human Services Branch at the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) from 1999 through 2003. From 2001 through 2004, OMB includes her in the list contributors to the federal budgets.