N.J. Native First Black Woman to Lead Medicare, Medicaid | | New Jersey State Nurses Association

N.J. Native First Black Woman to Lead Medicare, Medicaid

 In Nurses Weekly

Tapped by President Joe Biden, a Willingboro native has become the first Black woman to lead the nation’s health insurance programs.

Chiquita Brooks-LaSure was sworn in as administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) by U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Xavier Becerra last week after her nomination was confirmed by the U.S. Senate.

“I worked closely with Chiquita when I was a member of the House Ways and Means Committee, and I know she will reach across the aisle to find common ground in our efforts to bring down health care costs for American families. As we navigate the pandemic and its aftermath, it’s critical to have experienced, steady leadership at CMS. Chiquita is that leader,” Becerra said.

As the leader of CMS, Brooks-LaSure will be tasked with building on the Affordable Care Act, bringing down health care costs for American families, and fixing the health care disparities exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Willingboro High School graduate called the appointment “an honor of a lifetime.”

“The COVID-19 pandemic has illuminated so many of the longstanding health disparities in this country, and CMS has the ability to advance health equity for all Americans through Medicare, Medicaid, and the health insurance marketplace,” Brooks-LaSure said. “Our agenda is ambitious — but the times call for bold action, and I look forward to working with President Biden and Secretary Becerra to strengthen CMS’ programs and build back better for the American people.”

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