Harkin Lifts Hold On Tavenner Nomination

Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa, said Tuesday that he would allow the nomination of Marilyn Tavenner to head the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services to go forward.

Quad City Times: Harkin Releases Hold In Battle Over Wellness Funds
U.S. Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa, said Tuesday he would allow the nomination for a key administration post to go forward, even as he accused the Obama administration of reneging on its commitment to a part of the Affordable Care Act. Harkin said on the Senate floor Tuesday he would release the hold he had put on Marilyn Tavenner to be the new head of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, an important agency in the implementation of the law (Tibbetts, 5/7).

Modern Healthcare: Harkin Lifts Hold On Tavenner Nomination To Head CMS
Sen. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa) on Tuesday lifted the hold he placed on the nomination of acting CMS Administrator Marilyn Tavenner to be confirmed as the agency's permanent administrator. On the Senate floor, the Iowa Democrat said he placed the hold on Tavenner's nomination before a congressional recess late last month because Tavenner had signed a directive in March that channeled funds away from the health reform law's Prevention and Public Health Fund (5/7).

The Hill: Harkin Lifts Hold On Top Healthcare Nominee
Harkin was upset about cuts the administration has made to the healthcare law's prevention and public health fund. He reiterated those objections during a floor speech Tuesday but said he would allow Tavenner's nomination to move forward (Baker, 5/7).

Des Moines Register's Iowa Politics: Harkin Drops Hold On Obama Nominee, But Still Bitter About Raid On Health-Care Fund
The Iowa senator championed Obama's Affordable Care Act when it passed Congress in 2010. But he used sharp words on the Senate floor today to criticize his fellow Democrat's decision to raid the prevention fund. ... Last month, Harkin invoked his frustrations by using his Senate power to delay confirmation of Marilyn Tavenner as administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, which is implementing much of the Affordable Care Act. The senator announced today that he was lifting his hold on the nomination, but he made clear that he’s still upset about the issue (Leys, 5/7).

The Washington Times: Democratic Sen. Tom Harkin Drops Block On Obama Medicare Nominee
Ms. Tavenner had enjoyed widespread support from both parties and seemed poised to sail through the Senate. But Mr. Harkin is a key advocate and author of the prevention fund that promotes public health initiatives and disease prevention and placed a "hold" on the nomination, temporarily stalling its progress. Republican opponents of the president's new health care law also have accused the Obama administration of using the pool of money as a "slush fund," but Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius has argued the funds were redirected in part because Congress underfunded efforts to implement the health care law (Howell, 5/7).

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