Biden picks Obama health veteran to run Medicare, Medicaid agency


President Biden announced Friday that he has selected Chiquita Brooks-LaSure, an experienced health policy staffer, as administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS).

The sprawling agency oversees three key health care programs for millions of Americans: Medicare, Medicaid and the Affordable Care Act.

Brooks-LaSure previously served at the agency during the Obama administration, where she worked on the implementation of the ACA.

Before that, she served as a staffer for the House Ways and Means Committee, a panel that Biden’s nominee for Secretary of Health and Human Services, Xavier Becerra, served on at the time.

Brooks-LaSure is a veteran of more behind-the-scenes health care policy, in contrast to Becerra, a longtime member of Congress who then became attorney general of California.

Some Republicans have criticized Becerra for a lack of health policy experience, though his backers note he worked on health care issues in Congress and fought the Trump administration’s health care actions as California attorney general.

Even without an administrator in place, the Biden administration has already moved to start rolling back one of former President Trump’s signature health care policies: Medicaid work requirements.

CMS is also currently overseeing a new sign-up period for the Affordable Care Act that the Biden administration created to try to help more people get coverage during the pandemic.

The agency will also face a decision on whether or how to go forward with a signature Trump move to lower some drug prices in Medicare by tying them to prices in other countries, known as “most-favored nation.”

Brooks-LaSure currently works at Manatt Health, a consulting firm, where her bio says she “provides policy analysis and strategic advice to healthcare stakeholders across the private and public sectors.”

Tags biden administration CMS Donald Trump Joe Biden Medicaid Medicaid Medicare Medicare Xavier Becerra
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