CMS Administrator Tom Scully Announces Resignation
CMS Administrator Tom Scully on Wednesday confirmed that he will resign Dec. 15 after President Bush has signed the Medicare bill (HR 1) into law, the AP/Boston Globe reports. Scully, who has headed CMS for the past three years, said that he will most likely take a job at one of five investment or law firms that have offered him a position as an adviser on Medicare legislation (Sherman, AP/Boston Globe, 12/4). Scully could earn as much as five times his current $134,000 annual salary in the private sector. Scully said that he decided to leave the agency in May for personal reasons, but Bush administration officials requested that he remain at CMS to work on the Medicare bill. Scully agreed and received an ethics waiver from HHS that allowed him to work on the Medicare bill and negotiate with potential new employers at the same time (California Healthline, 12/3). Scully said in an interview Wednesday, "I'm thrilled I stuck around to see it through. It's done." However, several opponents of the Medicare bill said that Scully's conversations with potential employers during the bill's negotiations "reinforced" perceptions that the Bush administration "favors insurers and drug companies over seniors," the AP/Globe reports. David Sirota, spokesperson for the Center for American Progress, said, "Seniors have a right to know why a White House bill that forks over billions to the HMOs and drug industries was written by a person who was apparently pursuing employment with those same industries." According to the AP/Globe, Scully said that the firms had been "courting" him for months (AP/Boston Globe, 12/4). Potential replacements for Scully include Leslie Norwalk, acting deputy administrator of CMS; Peter Urbanowicz, deputy general counsel for HHS; and William Winkenwerder, assistant secretary of health at the Department of Defense (California Healthline, 12/3).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.