Jumping ship, Tavenner is the next administration appointee to leave

Tavenner, face of Obamacare and ally to HHS Secretary Sylvia Mathews Burwell, is out as CMS administrator.

Marilyn Tavenner | IMage: VCU School of Nursing - http://wp.vcu.edu/
Marilyn Tavenner | IMage: VCU School of Nursing - http://wp.vcu.edu/

WASHINGTON, January 16, 2015 — Marilyn Tavenner, Administrator of the Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services (CMS), announced her departure yesterday, saying that February will be her last month on the job. Tavenner is a well known face of Obamacare and an ally to Sylvia Mathews Burwell, Secretary of Health and Human services.

“It is with sadness and mixed emotions that I write to tell you that February will be my last month serving as the administrator for CMS,” Tavenner wrote in an email to staff.

Tavenner’s 5-year tenure at CMS has been troubled. She recently appeared before the House Oversight Committee to answer questions about Obamacare failures, including an overstatement of the number of enrolees that had the administration celebrating their success.
Tavenner told committee members that enrollees were “inadvertently” double-counted, an explanation that was greeted with skepticism by Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., whose staff identified the error. Tavenner was grilled alongside former administration adviser Jonathan Gruber, who admitted that Obamacare was passed because of misinformation presented to a “stupid America.”

“Tavenner had to go,” Issa wrote Friday in a statement. “She presided over HHS as it deceptively padded the Obamacare enrollment numbers. It was a deplorable example of an agency trying to scam the American people. They weren’t successful this time because of Congressional oversight. We deserve better.”

Aryana Khalid, Tavenner’s chief of staff, also announced Friday that she would be leaving the agency.

These two departures come about a month after that of CMS’s deputy administrator, Cindy Mann.


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