The acting chief has now been confirmed as the new confirmed head – the first in six and a half years.
This week, the Senate has made insurance news with its approval of the nominee of President Obama for the chief of Medicare and Medicaid, Marilyn B. Tavenner, who has been acting chief until now.
This is the first confirmed chief that has held this position in six and a half years.
The vote in support of Tavenner in the Senate was 91 to 7, showing a widespread approval for this former state health official in Virginia. Tavenner also received the endorsement of Representative Eric Cantor of Virginia, the Republican leader of the House in that state.
This insurance news brings Tavenner up to administrator for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.
Tavenner, 61, must have been expecting this insurance news on some level due to the tremendous support that she has had and the fact that she has all but done this job already. She will now continue to play a tremendous role in the implementation of the primary provisions of the new healthcare reforms. This includes the expansion of the Medicaid program and the creation of the health insurance exchanges that will be selling private insurance with subsidies.
The agency has already been making insurance news headlines by providing health coverage to over 100 million people across the country, at an expense of over $800 billion per year. This is considerably higher than the spending budget for even the Defense Department.
While its policies for payment and the standards that it creates for hospitals, doctors, and other healthcare providers, the Medicare agency has a considerable impact over the insurance news in the country and the way that this care functions through the money that it spends in the industry.
There have been serious insurance news debates and disagreements regarding health policy. This has made it quite challenging for any nominee to be able to make his or her way into the actual Medicare leadership job. Tavenner, who has previously worked as a nurse for over twenty years at the Hospital Corporation of America. The last Senate confirmed administrator for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services stepped down in October 2006. It was at that time that Dr. Mark B. McClellan left the position.