Biden to pick Chiquita Brooks-LaSure to head CMS

If confirmed, one of the architects of the ACA will be tasked with expanding the program and undoing changes made by the previous administration.

President Joe R. Biden will reportedly nominate former-Obama official Chiquita Brooks-LaSure to lead the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS).

Brooks-LaSure previously served as a deputy director in a CMS office that oversaw health insurance markets, but before joining the administration she was already intimately familiar with the Affordable Care Act (ACA) having worked on crafting parts of it as a health staffer with the House Ways and Means Committee. Biden’s pick to run the Department of Health and human Services (HHS) Xavier Becerra sat on that committee at the same time, CNN reports.

Politico reports that Brooks-LaSure was an early favorite for the CMS post and co-led Biden’s HHS agency review team during his transition. Biden’s choice of Becerra seemed to bode well for Brooks-LaSure’s chances as the two were known to work well together on health care issues.

If she is confirmed by the Senate, Brooks-LaSure will be at the core of Biden’s push to expand insurance coverage by reinforcing the ACA, expanding Medicaid, and lowering the entry age for Medicare, according to The Washington Post, which broke the news of the decision.

A formal nomination has not yet come from the White House, but with Becerra expected to be in confirmation hearings in the next few weeks, the announcement is expected soon.