On February 19, 2021, President Joe Biden nominated Chiquita Brooks-LaSure to serve as the Administrator for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). If confirmed by the Senate, Brooks-LaSure would be the first Black woman to lead the agency. The full list of the Biden Administration’s HHS selections is available here.
Brooks-LaSure formerly oversaw implementation of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) in the Obama Administration in her role as Deputy Director of CMS’s Center for Consumer Information and Insurance Oversight, which oversees health insurance markets. Before working in the Obama Administration, Brooks-LaSure served as a professional staff member on the U.S. House Ways and Means Committee, where she worked with then-Congressman and Committee member Xavier Becerra, whom President Biden has nominated to lead HHS. She also worked as a Medicaid analyst in the Office of Management and Budget. Brooks-LaSure comes to the post having familiarity with President Biden’s team. She co-led then-President-elect Biden’s review team covering HHS. Brooks-LaSure’s nomination has already drawn praise from industry groups, such as the American Hospital Association and the Association of American Medical Colleges.
Among other challenges, Brooks-LaSure will be tasked with leading President Biden’s mission to roll back the Trump Administration’s changes to the ACA, working on Medicaid expansion, and implementing a special enrollment period for uninsured individuals during the lingering COVID-19 pandemic.