MEDICAID: Clinton Taps AIDS Expert to Head Program
The Clinton administration has named one of the nation's top experts on AIDS policy to head the federal Medicaid program. Timothy Westmoreland, a lawyer and former aide to Rep. Henry Waxman (D-CA) and who currently serves as a program officer for HIV/AIDS at the Kaiser Family Foundation, on Monday was officially named director of the Center for Medicaid and State Operations (AP/Nando Times, 9/25). The New York Times reported Saturday that as director, Westmoreland will likely move to extend coverage to low-income people with HIV, who have not yet exhibited signs of AIDS. In addition, he will manage the Children's Health Insurance Program, where his "biggest challenge" will be to enroll the "more than six million children" eligible for Medicaid or CHIP, but not yet covered by the programs. During his 16-year stint for Waxman as a staffer on the House Committee on Energy and Commerce health subcommittee, Westmoreland played a key role in raising awareness of the AIDS epidemic among lawmakers and soliciting funding for research "at a time when few people understood the disease and the Reagan administration resisted additional spending." Currently, Medicaid spends about $3.9 billion per year in treatment for AIDS patients, serving half of those with the disease (Pear, 9/25).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.