Senate panel approves Obama health nominee

The committee approved by a unanimous voice vote Marilyn Tavenner's nomination to lead the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS).

Timing was not clear for a floor vote, but Tavenner is expected to win the same broad bipartisan support on the floor that she has enjoyed throughout the confirmation process.

It would be the first time in years that CMS has had a permanent, Senate-confirmed administrator. Obama's last nominee, Harvard University professor Don Berwick, met fierce opposition from Republicans in the wake of the contentious battle over the Affordable Care Act.