Marilyn Tavenner: Administrator, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services
Pro: If Sebelius is too big of a concession from the White House, it makes sense to start looking down the chain of command. And that brings you to Tavenner. She leads CMS, which houses the office that implemented the law and inked the contracts to build HealthCare.gov. CMS’ decision to integrate contractors’ products itself, rather than turning to one of the contractors, is emerging as one of the key factors in the website’s troubles.
Con: People like Tavenner. Insurers like her, colleagues like her – even Republicans like her. Her nomination won bipartisan support after House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) testified on her behalf. She’s well-regarded throughout the health care industry and has a reputation as an attentive, engaged leader. Privately, the early word on her response to the HealthCare.gov debacle is also positive. Tavenner is set to testify on the Hill next week, but barring any big revelations, she is seen as unlikely to lose her job.