Senate approval seen for Obama health care nominee

Associated Press + More

By RICARDO ALONSO-ZALDIVAR, Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) — Republican lawmakers are heaping praise on a former nurse picked by President Barack Obama to run Medicare and Medicaid, and also oversee his health care law.

If the Senate confirms Marilyn Tavenner, as expected, it may be the closest thing to a truce in the nation's political wars over health care.

Tuesday's confirmation hearing before the Senate Finance Committee went so smoothly that a happy Tavenner later said — quote — "they were great to me today."

Among her fans was Utah Sen. Orrin Hatch, the panel's ranking Republican.

Starting out as a nurse, Tavenner, 61, worked her way up to hospital chain executive. She served as Virginia's health secretary before joining the administration.

Currently acting chief of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, she promises a businesslike approach.

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