Health Reform WK-EDGE Biden to nominate Manatt Health managing director to lead CMS
Tuesday, March 2, 2021

Biden to nominate Manatt Health managing director to lead CMS

By Rebecca Mayo, J.D.

President Biden is set to announce former senior CMS official and managing director at Manatt Health, Chiquita Brooks-LaSure, as his nominee for CMS Administrator.

A former senior CMS official under the Obama administration who helped implement the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, has reportedly been named as President Biden’s nominee for CMS Administrator. Chiquita Brooks-LaSure most recently served as managing director at Manatt Health, which is a consulting firm that works within the health care industry. Brooks-LaSure has spoken publicly about the role she thinks federal agencies should play in ensuring equal access to health care, and was interviewed by Wolters Kluwer last fall about the light that the COVID-19 public health crisis has shined on health disparities in our health care system.

Policy development and implementation roles. Brooks-LaSure began her career as a program examiner and lead Medicaid analyst for the Office of Management and Budget where she evaluated policy options and briefed White House and federal agency officials on policy recommendations with regard to the uninsured, Medicaid, and the Children’s Health Insurance Program. She later served as part of the Democratic staff for the U.S. House of Representatives’ Ways and Means Committee, where she assisted House leaders in passing several healthcare laws, including the Medicare Improvements for Patients and Providers Act of 2008 and the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) (P.L. 111-148). She also formerly served as deputy director for policy at the Center for Consumer Information and Insurance Oversight within CMS, and as director of coverage policy at HHS, where she led the agency’s implementation of ACA coverage and insurance reform policy provisions.

Coverage gaps and access to care. Over the past year, Brooks-LaSure has authored and co-authored issue briefs relating to gaps in healthcare coverage and barriers to access to care. In October, Brooks-LaSure spoke with Wolters Kluwer about the health disparities that were exposed through the COVID-19 public health crisis (see Challenges and strategies for addressing disparities in access to health care, October 20, 2020). In her interview with Wolters Kluwer, Brooks-LaSure stated that the COVID-19 "public health crisis has highlighted the underlying cracks in our health system, including the fact that millions of low-income individuals have no access to coverage because their states have not expanded Medicaid." She further indicated that she believes "health disparities are both a public health and financing issue, and that agencies need to think about how to better coordinate programs with payments to providers through the coverage programs."

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