WASHINGTON – President Joe Biden has picked a former Obama administration official to run the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. The agency oversees government health insurance programs covering more than 1 out of 3 Americans and is a linchpin of the health care system.
If confirmed by the Senate, Chiquita Brooks-LaSure would be the first Black woman to head CMS, which has under its umbrella Medicare, Medicaid, children’s health insurance and the Affordable Care Act, better known as “Obamacare.” The programs cover more than 130 million people, from newborns to nursing home residents.
Brooks-LaSure has a long track record in government, having held health policy jobs at the White House, in Congress, and at CMS during the Obama administration. Most recently she led the Biden transition’s “landing team” for the Department of Health and Human Services, laying the groundwork for the new administration. Before her return to government service, Brooks-LaSure was a managing director at the Manatt Health consultancy.
Her nomination was confirmed by a person familiar with the White House decision, who spoke on condition of anonymity ahead of a formal announcement.