(WASHINGTON) -- The embattled acting director of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, Donald Berwick, will step down from his post on Dec. 2 after Republicans succeeded in blocking his confirmation in the Senate, the White House said Wednesday.
President Obama nominated a new appointee, deputy CMS director and former Virginia Health Department chief Marilyn Tavenner, to take Berwick’s place. She’ll assume the role if confirmed by the Senate.
The Berwick position has become a lightning rod for the partisan debate over the new health care law, since whoever heads the agency will play a key role in overseeing implementation of some of the law’s provisions.
Some Republicans opposed Berwick, 65, because of his expressed support for government-run health care programs. They also accused him of supporting “rationing” of health care services, a charge Berwick has denied.
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