CMS Administrator Tavenner Announces Resignation
CMS Administrator Marilyn Tavenner will step down from her position at the end of next month, the Huffington Post reports (Cohn/Young, Huffington Post, 1/16).
Tavenner made the announcement via an e-mail to her staff on Friday. She did not indicate why she was stepping down. She wrote, "We came together and faced the challenges and are now providing millions of people with access to an affordable, high quality -- and in some cases a lifesaving -- health care plan."
Tavenner became acting CMS administrator in 2011 and was confirmed as the agency's administrator in 2013 (Wayne, Bloomberg, 1/16).
Stakeholders have said Tavenner has maintained good relationships with both Democrats and Republicans, according to the Huffington Post. America's Health Insurance Plans President Karen Ignagni said, "She's not been viewed in town as a particularly political figure. She's viewed as a manager, which says something about her leadership."
However, she has received some criticism, including for CMS' role in miscounting the number of U.S. residents who enrolled in health coverage through the Affordable Care Act's exchanges during its first open enrollment period.
Resignation Sets Up Confirmation Battle, Slavitt To Be Acting Administrator
Tavenner's departure will set up a potentially difficult confirmation battle with the GOP-controlled Senate, according to the Huffington Post.
Andy Slavitt, who has been CMS' principal deputy administrator since June 2014, will serve as acting CMS administrator until a permanent replacement is confirmed. Slavitt previously was an executive at Optum, a unit of UnitedHealth Group and a contractor that helped develop the federal exchange.
HHS Secretary Sylvia Mathews Burwell in a statement set to be released on Friday said, "Marilyn Tavenner has devoted five years and countless hours to the cause of improving health care quality, holding down costs, protecting the Medicare Trust Fund and expanding access to affordable health care coverage to millions of Americans. In so doing, she delivered historic results that have impacted countless lives -- both today and for decades to come -- all for the better" (Huffington Post, 1/16).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.