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No hearing is set for Tavenner
Fieldale native is acting head of Medicaid, Medicare
Wednesday, May 23, 2012
U.S. Senate candidate Tim Kaine on Tuesday criticized the Senate’s failure to hold a confirmation hearing for Fieldale native Marilyn Tavenner, President Obama’s choice to lead the Medicare and Medicaid Services.
The Wall Street Journal reported Monday that Senate Democrats have said they are not planning to hold a confirmation hearing for Tavenner. According to the report, Democratic senators made that decision because they believe it would be impossible to get the 60 votes necessary to confirm Tavenner.
She has been the acting administrator since November, when she took over for Donald Berwick, a recess appointment who never was confirmed by the Senate.
“I’m not sure which is worse — that the Senate doesn’t feel the need to hold a confirmation hearing for the person in charge of the largest single line item in the federal budget or that it’s an open question whether someone as qualified as Marilyn Tavenner could get confirmed in this political climate,” Kaine said in a news release issued Tuesday. “For six years, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has operated without a confirmed administrator, leaving this vital department in a state of limbo and preventing the organization from making the long-term adjustments necessary to ensure its viability. That’s unacceptable.
“In 2006, I appointed Marilyn as my secretary of health and human resources because of her experience as a nurse, nursing supervisor, hospital CEO and health care executive as well as her pragmatic, results-oriented approach to solving problems,” Kaine said.
“She served the commonwealth with distinction during her four years and is an exceptional choice to head CMS. Virginia’s General Assembly confirmed Marilyn to her post as head of health and human resources because she was supremely qualified for the position. The U.S. Senate should take a page from Virginia’s book and vote to confirm her as the next CMS Administrator.
“As a U.S. Senator, I’ll support reforms requiring that nominees receive an up or down vote within a reasonable time frame. At a minimum, the Senate should afford the same consideration to Marilyn.”
Tavenner is a 1969 graduate of Fieldale-Collinsville High School.