FDA Commissioner Mark McClellan Likely Nominee for CMS Administrator Position
The Bush administration is "poised" to nominate FDA Commissioner Mark McClellan to serve as the new CMS administrator, the Wall Street Journal reports (Lueck/Wilde Mathews, Wall Street Journal, 2/12). Former CMS Administrator Tom Scully resigned last month and accepted a position in the Washington, D.C., office of the Atlanta-based law firm Alston & Bird (California Healthline, 1/26). McClellan, a physician with a doctorate in economics, is "widely viewed as the leading candidate" to replace Scully, but "it was unclear" on Wednesday whether President Bush had "given the final go-ahead," according to sources familiar with the situation, the Journal reports. According to the Journal, McClellan supports "relying on the private sector to improve health care quality," a large part of the new Medicare law (HR 1) that CMS will implement in the next several years, and has a "pragmatic streak" that has allowed him to avoid "antagonizing major interest groups." In addition, McClellan "could be the rare Republican who could help defuse tension" over the Medicare law and improve public opinion about the legislation, the Journal reports. McClellan would likely win Senate confirmation for the CMS administrator position, but he could face challenges because of his opposition to prescription drug reimportation (Wall Street Journal, 2/12). Bush could announce the nomination of a new CMS administrator as early as Thursday or Friday (Washington Post, 2/12).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.