Chiquita Brooks-LaSure Set To Become First Black Woman To Run Medicare Services


February 22, 2021

This is a game-changer!

Chiquita Brooks-LaSure is set to become the first Black woman to run Medicare Services, the Business Standard reports.


The Biden administration has picked Brooks-LaSure to head up the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), including Medicare, Medicaid, children’s health insurance, and the Affordable Care Act. She has an extensive career in government, getting her start as a managing director at Manatt Health before working in health policy jobs at the White House, Congress, and CMS during the Obama administration. Brooks-LaSure was also a member of Biden’s transition landing team for the Department of Health and Human Services. 

As head of CMS, an agency overseeing government health insurance programs for 1 out of 3 Americans, Brooks-LaSure will be pivotal in disseminating the $4 trillion U.S. health care economy. They are responsible for setting Medicare payment rates for hospitals, doctors, labs, and other service providers, while also creating standards for how health care providers operate. 

Brooks-LaSure is a former staffer on the House Ways and Means Committee and worked with Biden’s nominee, California Attorney General Xavier Becerra, to run HHS. She was also a senior member of the 2009-2010 panel responsible for passing President Barack Obama’s health care law. 


Democratic health policy adviser Chris Jennings spoke about Brooks-LaSure’s nomination, saying, “[She] gets the imperative of securing greater affordability for beneficiaries, taxpayers, and Medicare, Medicaid, and the ACA marketplaces.”

As the leader of CMS, Brooks-LaSure will be responsible for growing Obamacare enrollment while convincing stalled states to adopt Medicaid expansion. She will also focus on abolishing any of the 45 administrations policies undermining Medicaid recipients and Obamacare. Brooks-LaSure will need to navigate Medicare’s current financial problems due to COVID-related job losses and negotiating Medicare prices with prescription drug makers. 

The Biden administration released a statement on nominees for Department of Health and Human Services, Department of Education, and the Department of Veterans Affairs saying, “These nominees will help advance President Biden’s Build Back Better agenda and build a stronger, more resilient, and more inclusive nation that delivers every American a fair opportunity and an equal chance to get ahead.” If confirmed by the Senate, she will be responsible for overseeing the health insurance for more than 130 million Americans.


Congratulations, Chiquita!

Photo Courtesy of CNN

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