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Tavenner Gains Early Support

Margaret Dick Tocknell, for HealthLeaders Media, November 29, 2011

Healthcare stakeholders and others are beginning to offer support for the nomination of Marilyn Tavenner to succeed Donald Berwick, MD, as administrator for the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. Tavenner is currently second in command at CMS. President Obama tapped her for the top spot late last Wednesday after Berwick announced his resignation effective December 2.

The Berwick resignation is bittersweet for the Obama administration. Nominated just a few weeks after Congress passed in March 2010 the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, Berwick was lauded in many circles as a healthcare reform wunderkind. But some members of Congress were still stinging from the passage of the ACA and derailed the nomination.

The President then took the controversial step of naming Berwick to the CMS post during a Congressional recess.

During Berwick's 18-month tenure, Tavenner managed to remain out of the spotlight or so it seemed to the world outside of CMS. "She's been low key to the outside world, but not within the agency," former CMS administrator Tom Scully told HealthLeaders Media in a telephone interview.

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