During a week otherwise consumed by partisan knife fights over White House scandals and yet another House vote to repeal the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, 91 senators agreed that Marilyn Tavenner is equipped to run the CMS. Tavenner, 61, a former nurse and hospital executive for hospital chain HCA, has earned a reputation among lawmakers in both parties as a skilled and apolitical administrator, even though she is charged with implementing the politically divisive healthcare law. The Obama administration hired Tavenner as a deputy administrator in 2010, and she took over as acting administrator when Dr. Donald Berwick resigned in late 2011. “We need a confirmed administrator with all of the work that she has to do, especially implementing the Affordable Care Act,” Sen. Max Baucus (D-Mont.) said on the Senate floor before the 91-7 vote.
Tavenner has been acting administrator since late 2011.