Senate confirms McClellan's nomination as CMS administrator

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The Senate confirmed President Bush's nomination of Mark McClellan as Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services administrator in a voice vote without formal debate. McClellan's nomination had been mired in controversy because other Congressmen said he was against drug reimportation. The Senators agreed to his confirmation provided he testify before a Senate panel on this issue.

McClellan, now Food and Drug Administration commissioner, succeeds Tom Scully, who left the agency in December to join a private law firm. It is unclear when McClellan will take the helm.

McClellan is part of a government task force to study drug importation, as required by the Medicare law. Health and Human Services Secretary Tommy Thompson said Wednesday that he decided not to have McClellan lead the study, reversing course after lawmakers complained that it would be one-sided under McClellan's direction.