For nearly 10 years the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services has essentially lacked any sort of primary director. There have been many able temporary bosses, sure; however, the last time the Senate actually confirmed a director for the CMS was Mark McClellan, President George W. Bush’s pick, in 2004.
“The problem, in a nutshell,” the Washington Post writes in an editorial, “is that the CMS directorship has gotten caught up in the polarized politics of health care.”
That might be about to change, however. The current CMS administrator is Marilyn Tavenner, and President Obama has nominated her to be the permanent director. The difference: she has bipartisan support. The problem: why is this a political issue in the first place? Oh, that’s right: because healthcare is now a political platform and ideology, rather than job qualification, is the first item to tick off. Or, rather: political ideology is now a job requirement.
Good luck, Marilyn. You’ll need it.
Friday — finally — headlines. (Also: has this been the LONGEST winter we’ve ever had in our entire lives? No need to reply; I already know I’m right.)
We All Need Friends Like This: After a medical-related bout of short-term memory loss, someone’s awesome friend made her an FAQ for the questions she asked again and again every five minutes.
They REALLY Don’t Want to Provide Birth Control: “The University of Notre Dame recently filed a notice of appeal in response to the dismissal of its lawsuit over the Obama administration’s contraceptive coverage rule. Notre Dame’s case hinges on the claim that they have a ‘sincere religious belief‘ that is substantially burdened by the proposed regulation.”
What’s So Great About Kaiser?: “One benefit of Kaiser Permanente spending an estimated $6 billion for an integrated electronic health records (EHR) system to serve 9 million people across eight regions from coast to coast is it that has amassed a vast repository of clinical data. That storehouse also contains information from a patient portal, ancillary systems, smart medical devices and even home-based patient monitoring systems.”
What’s Bill Clinton Going On About Now?: “Former President Bill Clinton on Wednesday called for transparency in health care pricing and addressing chronic disease epidemics such as obesity in order to drive down the cost of care for all. He also called for embracing IT and letting go of outmoded administrative systems. When Clinton called for transparency in health care pricing, the crowd erupted in applause.”