CMS Administrator Stepping Down

Former oversight chair: 'We deserve better'

Marilyn Tavenner
Marilyn Tavenner / AP

In an unexpected announcement, agency officials told the Huffington Post that Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) Administrator Marilyn Tavenner would leave her position in February.

Former Chairman of the House Oversight Committee Darrell Issa (R., Calif.) said on Friday that the departure was a necessary step.

"Tavenner had to go," Issa said in a statement. "She presided over HHS as it deceptively padded the Obamacare enrollment numbers. It was a deplorable example of an agency trying to scam the American people … We deserve better."

Tavenner, a key figure in the rollout of Healthcare.gov, frequently testified before Congress about the law and the website. She came under scrutiny late last year after it was discovered that she provided Congress with an enrollment number inflated by roughly 400,000.

The Oversight Committee first discovered the discrepancy.

The administration admitted to improperly including dental plans in their original enrollment figure, but maintained it was an inadvertent error.

Issa continues to refute that, pointing to it as the primary example Tavenner’s decision to step down is the right one.

"They weren’t successful [in passing off the numbers] because of congressional oversight," Issa said.

"We deserve better."