KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations.

Democratic Sen. Harkin Puts Hold On Tavenner’s Nomination

The Hill: Harkin Places Hold On Top Healthcare Nominee
Sen. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa) has placed a hold on one of President Obama's top healthcare nominees. Marilyn Tavenner had previously seemed poised for an easy, bipartisan confirmation as the administrator of the federal Medicare and Medicaid agency. But Harkin placed a hold on Tavenner's nomination Wednesday. Harkin's office noted his frustration at the way the Obama administration plans to spend a $15 billion fund for prevention and public health programs (Baker, 4/24).

Modern Healthcare: Democratic Senator Blocks Vote On Tavenner Nomination
At the Senate Appropriations Labor, HHS Subcommittee on Wednesday, Harkin blasted a proposal in President Barack Obama's recently introduced fiscal 2014 budget to cut funding already allocated for an illness prevention fund. "However, I am greatly disappointed that the administration chose to help pay for the Affordable Care Act in fiscal year 2013 by raiding the Public Health and Prevention Fund," Harkin said. "The Prevention Fund works. Thanks to this funding, more children are being immunized. More people are quitting smoking. More communities are fighting chronic disease. More people are being screened for hepatitis C. Robbing prevention when we know these efforts can improve people's health and lower health care costs goes against the very mission of health care reform" (Daly, 4/24). 

Politico Pro: Senate Source: Harkin Delays Tavenner Confirmation
Marilyn Tavenner had been sailing toward a swift confirmation in the Senate, poised to become the first CMS administrator to be approved in nearly a decade. Then she ran into a hurdle from an unexpected source: Iowa Sen. Tom Harkin (Cunningham, 4/24).

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