Bush officially nominates FDA commissioner to head CMS

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President Bush has officially nominated Food & Drug Administration Commissioner Dr. Mark McClellan to head the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, as was widely speculated.

If confirmed by the Senate, McClellan will take on the task of carrying out the Medicare reform bill for CMS. The agency spends more than $480 billion a year.

McClellan, 40, a physician and economist, took over the FDA post in November 2002, where he received strong reviews from drug companies. He has also served as health policy coordinator and a member of Mr. Bush's Council of Economic Advisers. He is the brother of the White House press secretary, Scott McClellan.

If McClellan is confirmed, his deputy, Dr. Lester M. Crawford, will become acting commissioner of the FDA.