Cantor praises Obama’s pick for key healthcare post

House Majority Leader Eric Cantor supports President Obama’s nominee for a key healthcare position, The Associated Press reported Tuesday.

The Virginia Republican told the AP that Marilyn Tavenner is “eminently qualified" to lead the agency that oversees Medicare and Medicaid.

The White House announced her nomination last week.

"I would hope to be able to support her," Cantor said. "Obviously, I'm not in the Senate, so I don't have that vote, but I do think she is qualified. Obviously, she'll be working for a president with an agenda that's quite different from mine."

Many stakeholders already thought Tavenner might be able to win Senate confirmation, based largely on the fact that Senate Republicans did not immediately attack her. Support from Cantor, one of Congress’s leading conservative voices, will likely bolster her prospects.

Cantor told the AP that he worked well with Tavenner when she was Virginia’s health secretary.

“I always found her to be extremely professional and understanding of the value of the private sector in health care,” he told the wire service.