First reported by The Washington Post and then confirmed by four other sources, it’s said that the new head of Medicare/Medicaid will be a Black woman, a first for the healthcare conglomerate.
President Joe Biden has picked a former Obama administration official to run the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. The agency oversees government health insurance programs covering more than 1 out of 3 Americans and is a linchpin of the health care system.
If confirmed by the Senate, Chiquita Brooks-LaSure would be the first Black woman to head CMS, which has under its umbrella Medicare, Medicaid, children’s health insurance and the Affordable Care Act, better known as “Obamacare.” The programs cover more than 130 million people, from newborns to nursing home residents.
The Medicare program provides coverage for more than 62 million individuals and Medicaid is the largest health insurance program in the country, covering one in five Americans, including many with unique and often costly health care needs.
Who is Chiquita Brooks-LaSure?
Brooks-LaSure currently works as managing director at Manatt Health, yet previously served in the Obama administration at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) from 2010 to 2014. First, she served as director of coverage policy in the Office of Health Reform and then as deputy center and policy director for the Center for Consumer Information and Insurance Oversight at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. She worked on the House Ways and Means Committee and worked with Biden’s nominee, California Attorney General Xavier Becerra, to run HHS. She was a visiting scholar at Deakin University in Melbourne, Australia. Ms. Brooks-LaSure received her master of public policy degree from Georgetown University.
The Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) President and CEO David J. Skorton, MD, issued the following statement on the nomination of Chiquita Brooks-LaSure for administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) at the Department of Health and Human Services:
“The AAMC congratulates Chiquita Brooks-LaSure on her nomination as CMS administrator. She has been a strong, persistent, and effective voice in support of increasing patient access to vital health care, and her detailed understanding of Medicare, Medicaid, and the Affordable Care Act (ACA), as well as her commitment to health equity, makes her a welcome partner in academic medicine’s work to improve the health of people everywhere.”
Once confirmed by Senate, Brooks-LaSure will join a department that’s working on