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Kerry N. Weems

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Kerry N. Weems was chosen in May 2007 by President George W. Bush to head Medicare and Medicaid. If confirmed by the U.S. Senate, Weems would replace Mark McClellan, who resigned October 2006. The "Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services is the agency that oversees federal health programs for the elderly, disabled and the poor. It accounts for about a fifth of all federal spending." [1]

Weems is currently serving as Deputy Chief of Staff to Michael Leavitt, Director, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. [2]

Controversy

"Weems has been one of Leavitt's most trusted advisers on budget issues as the administration tries to restrain the pace of federal health spending. Still, it's unusual for a career federal employee to be nominated for such a top political appointment," the Associated Press reported May 3, 2007. "But former HHS Deputy Secretary Alex Azar said that Weems would be well positioned to run the agency."

Profiles

On January 24, 2003, Secretary Tommy G. Thompson appointed Weems to be acting assistant secretary for budget, technology, and finance (ASBTF) at HHS, replacing Janet Hale who left for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. Weems' 2003 profile states that:

"Since June 2002, Weems has served as the deputy assistant secretary for budget, where he provided expertise and advice to the ASBTF on the largest budget of any federal department. Weems was responsible for all budgetary program policy and management issues, including the formulation of the HHS budget and its presentation to the Office of Management and Budget and to Congress. Weems began his role as deputy assistant secretary in an acting capacity in January 2001. Previously, he served as the director for the Division of Budget Policy, Execution and Management.
"Throughout the years, Weems has received a number of prestigious awards, including the Presidential Rank Award in 2001, the Secretary's Distinguished Service Award in 1995 and an HHS Senior Management Citation in 1993.
"Weems earned a master's of business administration from the University of New Mexico in 1981, and earned two bachelor's degrees in philosophy and management from New Mexico State University. He begins his new post today."

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