We’ve learned a lot during the COVID-19 pandemic on the ways access to comprehensive health care affects our lives and well-being. The availability of COVID-19 tests, vaccines, and treatments have saved millions of Americans from sickness and death ̶ because the federal government stepped up to make sure that every person who needs COVID-related care has access to the care they need. But the challenge of the past 19 months has also put an incredible strain on our country’s health care infrastructure and highlighted weaknesses and disparities that cry out for smart and innovative solutions.
I am privileged to lead an organization that is at the forefront not only in the fight against COVID-19, but one that also works tirelessly to ensure the more than 170 million Americans with Marketplace, Medicare or Medicaid coverage know they will be able to get the care they need and deserve.
Our vision is straight forward: “CMS serves the public as a trusted partner and steward, dedicated to advancing health equity, expanding coverage, and improving health outcomes.” How we achieve this vision is through the work of thousands of individuals dedicated to improving people’s lives through public policy aimed at making the U.S. health care system work better for everyone.
As I mark my first 100 days of leading CMS, I think it’s important to lay out my strategy for how the agency will achieve this vision and how we should judge our success. To me, everything we do at CMS should be aligned with one or more of six strategic pillars:
In the short time I have been CMS Administrator, we have already made significant progress on these pillars, focusing our efforts on improving health equity and access to coverage by working across what I call “the three Ms”: Medicare, Medicaid & CHIP, and the ACA Marketplaces. For example:
In addition to these policy initiatives, I’ve assembled one of the most experienced and diverse leadership teams in CMS history, bringing decades of federal government, Congressional, advocacy, private-sector, clinical, state-based and previous agency experience together to serve the people who rely on CMS for coverage and care.
We will work tirelessly to address the gaps in the health care system exposed by the COVID-19 pandemic. On behalf of people who rely on our programs, I and the more than 6,000 dedicated professionals who make up CMS are committed to driving innovative solutions to make comprehensive health care more equitable, more accessible, and more affordable.