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Five Republicans Vote to Confirm Biden's Medicare Chief Nominee

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What You Need to Know

  • Chiquita Brooks-LaSure will oversee Medicaid and Affordable Care Act programs as well as Medicare.
  • She worked early in her career for the federal Office of Management and Budget.
  • She also has worked on the staff of the House Ways and Means Committee.

The Senate today voted 55-44 to confirm the nomination of Chiquita Brooks-LaSure to be the administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS).

All of the 50 Democrats who voted backed Brooks-LaSure.

Brooks-LaSure also won support from five Republicans.

The list of Republicans supporting her included three senators who are known for voting with their party — Richard Burr of North Carolinam, Roy Blunt of Missouri and Jerry Moran of Kansas — as well as Susan Collins of Maine and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, two Republicans who have voted with the Democrats on several high-profile health care bills and nominations.

As head of CMS, Brooks-LaSure will serve under Xavier Becerra, the secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

She will oversee the agencies that run Medicaid and federal Affordable Care Act programs, such as the HealthCare.gov public health insurance exchange program, as well as Medicare. CMS agencies shape activities that generate about $3 trillion in economic activity per year.

Her post will make her a leader in efforts to shore up the solvency of the Medicare trust fund and to update, repeal or replace the current ACA framework for commercial health insurance products and insurance subsidy programs.

Brooks-LaSure started her career as a health budget official in 1999, at the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB).

She served on the House Ways and Means Committee staff from 2007 through 2010, and as one of the architects of ACA programs from 2012 through 2014.

She also has worked as a health policy consultant at Avalere Health and at Manatt.

She has a bachelor’s degree from Princeton University and a master’s degree in public policy from Georgetown University.

Chiquita Brooks-LaSure (Photo: House Ways and Means Committee)