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Max Baucus—fire non-starter

So what did Sen. Max Baucus (D-Mont.) say when HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius asked him to hold a confirmation hearing for Marilyn Tavenner, acting administrator of CMS?

“It's going to be difficult to proceed with the Republican opposition,” said Baucus, chairman of the powerful Finance Committee, when I asked him about the conversation.

The expected strong Republican opposition to Tavenner also has been his public explanation for his decision not to bring her confirmation up for a vote. The scenario echoed similar widespread Republican hostility to her predecessor, Dr. Donald Berwick, who stepped down in December after Baucus demurred giving him a confirmation vote.Tavenner was widely believed to be far less controversial when she was nominated.

Follow Rich Daly on Twitter @MHRDaly.
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