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February 26, 2021

Black Woman Makes History as the First to Run Medicare's $700B Healthcare Program

Chiquita Brooks-LaSure

Chiquita Brooks-LaSure has been chosen by President Joe Biden to lead the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. This means that she will become the first Black woman to serve as the agency's administrator once confirmed by the Senate. The national health insurance program spends almost $600 billion to $700 billion dollars a year on healthcare for it's members.Brooks-LaSure has an extensive professional background under her belt, having served as a Managing Director at Manatt Health and held health policy jobs at the White House, in Congress, and the CMS during the Obama administration. She was particularly familiar with President Biden's team as she also led the Biden transition landing team for the Department of Health and Human Services.

Once confirmed, she will lead the CMS, which oversees government health insurance programs for 1 out of 3 Americans. The agency is also responsible for distributing the country's $4 trillion health care economy, setting Medicare payment rates for hospitals, doctors, labs, and other service providers, as well as the standards for health care providers' operations.

Brooks-LaSure "gets the imperative of securing greater affordability for beneficiaries, taxpayers, and Medicare, Medicaid and the ACA marketplaces," said Democratic health policy adviser Chris Jennings, according to the Business Standard.

The task is deemed more challenging now during the COVID-19 pandemic as she would have to deal with Medicare's current financial problems aside from rolling back the Trump Administration's changes to the ACA.