Nominee To Head Medicare, Medicaid a New Face to Some
President Bush's nominee to head CMS is unfamiliar among some health care lobbyists, who say Kerry Weems' lack of policymaking experience raises questions about his views on policy and political matters, The Hill reports.
Weems since 2005 has served as deputy chief of staff to HHS Secretary Mike Leavitt. Weems previously worked on budget issues at HHS through four administrations.
The position of CMS administrator has grown increasingly political. In addition to overseeing the agency's estimated $600 billion budget, Weems also will serve as a spokesperson for Bush's health care policies, according to The Hill.
While some lobbyists and trade groups have issued public statements endorsing Weems, questions about his stances on policy issues linger among some Republican lobbyists.
Democratic senators during Weems confirmation process are expected to criticize CMS' oversight of the Medicare drug benefit and ask Weems how he will address ongoing problems with the program (Young, The Hill, 5/9).