Healthcare News February 8, 2013

  • OVERNIGHT HEALTH: Tavenner tapped for CMS (again)

    The White House formally renominated Marilyn Tavenner on Thursday to lead the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). She’s already working in the role, but only on an acting basis, because the Senate hasn’t taken up her initial nomination.

    CMS has only had acting directors for the better part of the past decade, and it would be an uphill climb for Tavenner to be the nominee who breaks the trend — any Obama nominee for any healthcare post will be a hard sell in the deeply divided Senate. But Tavenner has a lot of allies, including House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.), who worked with Tavenner when she ran Virginia’s Medicaid program and praised her initial nomination.

    Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) — the top Republican on the Finance Committee, which would handle Tavenner’s confirmation hearings — praised her personally on Thursday, and said he’ll work with Chairman Max Baucus (D-Mont.) on a hearing.

    “I’ve met with Ms. Tavenner and found her to be smart and diligent,” Hatch said in a statement. “With Medicare and Medicaid on an unsustainable fiscal path, the cost of health care continuing to rise, and with the implementation of the health law moving forward, there are many questions she’ll need to fully answer before I decide whether or not to support her nomination.”

  • Reps. to HHS: What of 2007 mental health recommendations?

    Lawmakers point out that some of Obama’s proposals on gun violence were made in 2007 following the Virginia Tech massacre.

  • Obama renominates Tavenner to lead Medicare, Medicaid agency

    President Obama on Thursday renominated Marilyn Tavenner to one of the top healthcare posts in the administration.

    It’s the second time Obama has nominated Tavenner to lead the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), the agency that oversees Medicare, Medicaid and most of the implementation of President Obama’s signature healthcare law.

    Tavenner herself isn’t controversial — she even got the endorsement of House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.), who worked with Tavenner when she led Virginia’s Medicaid program.

  • Insurer: No talk of seeking ‘ObamaCare’ delay

    The nation’s largest health insurer told reporters Thursday that it hasn’t seriously discussed a delay in the implementation of President Obama’s signature healthcare law — a move many Republicans support.

    Officials from the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association (BCBSA) said an across-the-board delay hasn’t seriously come up in their internal preparations for the law’s full implementation. 

    “We haven’t thought about that at all,” BCBSA Senior Vice President Alissa Fox said Thursday. “The law is very clear, it’s Jan. 1, 2014.”

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