President Joe Biden has narrowed his choices for the next leader of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.
Several national media outlets have confirmed the search has come down to North Carolina Health Secretary Mandy Cohen and longtime policy health expert Chiquita Brooks-LaSure, who both served during former President Barack Obama’s administration.
Cohen was previously the chief operating officer and chief of staff at CMS under Obama, while Brooks-LaSure served as the deputy director of CMS’ health insurance office and helped draft and launch the Affordable Care Act. Brooks-LaSure, who worked with Biden’s campaign, is considered the favorite for the position, Politico reported.
Avalere Health CEO Dan Mendelson described Brooks-LaSure as “very calm and very measured.” She worked for the firm from 2003 to 2007, according to the Washington Post.
“She doesn’t react too quickly and I think that kind of thoughtfulness will be really useful given the range of issues they have to deal with right now,” he told the news agency.
CMS is expected to have an expanded role under Biden. Many of his campaign pledges seek to address Medicare and Medicaid expansion, funding and access to healthcare.
For long-term care, potential actions include a possible restoration of mandatory penalties for nursing facilities that violate federal quality standards, which would be a reversal from the Trump administration. The incoming administration also could attempt to increase nursing home staffing and oversight, and advance policies that strengthen home- and community-based services.