The U.S. Senate confirmed Chiquita Brooks-LaSure to lead the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) last week, making her the first Black woman to lead the agency in its near sixty-year history.
Brooks-LaSure, a former policy official who played a vital role in the implementation of Obamacare, will oversee such initiatives as Medicare, Medicaid, and the Children’s Health Insurance Program, The LA Sentinel reports.
“During my career, I’ve seen how communities of color too often experience worse health outcomes, which we’ve seen so acutely during this pandemic,” she said, addressing the Senate. “Last year in April, my own hometown, a predominantly Black community where my parents still live, experienced higher rates of COVID-19 infections and deaths compared to much of the surrounding communities. I look forward to working with each of you to expand access to quality care for all communities,” Brooks-LaSure added.