CMS Marilyn Tavenner's Skeletons Ignored by Senate Finance Committee
The only thing missing at CMS acting administrator Marilyn Tavenner's confirmation hearing Tuesday was the caviar and champagne. Members of the Senate Finance committee heaped praise on the lady who, if confirmed, will be responsible for implementing Obamacare.
Tavenner's positive feedback demonstrated that a record of dirty dealing with health care corporations like scandal-ridden Psychiatric Solutions, Inc. and her old employer HCA need not be a career impediment.
Even the nominee herself seemed surprised at the warm reception. A relieved and happy Tavenner was later quoted saying "they were great to me today."
So that's it folks. No serious vetting; just a formality because the fix was already in.
The only tough question came from Senator Grassley but it was obvious Tavenner was prepared. She said she considered last week's Medicare Advantage rate hike leaks "a huge issue" and vowed to "do a thorough investigation of it and give you feedback."
Bloomberg, along with other news outlets called the session, "a rare moment of bipartisanship."
Tavenner's involvement in quashing findings by Virginia state officials on the closing of mental health facilities when she was Health and Human Services Secretary was not even mentioned by the Senators. The woman entrusted with $962 billion public dollars sailed through the hearing despite a paper trail.
Emails obtained by the Richmond Times Dispatch in 2009 point to a cover-up by Tavenner and Governor Tim Kaine. Not even a corrupt health care company's egregious treatment of society's most vulnerable young people in their own psychiatric facilities stopped Tavenner from giving her pals at PSI a tour of a state institution she and Kaine conspired to sell to one of his top political donors.
Writing about the hearing, left-leaning Politico reported Tavenner "has no political skeletons in her closet and that lawmakers agree it's time to have a permanent confirmed administrator in the position."
It makes sense that the left would revel in having Tavenner head the agency tasked with applying Obamacare. But when most of the Senators on the hearing committee soft-pedaled questions to her, we're led to think they all colluded to stay on the same conciliatory page and not rock the boat.
Read more M. Catharine Evans at Potter Williams Report