The confirmation of acting HHS Inspector General Daniel Levinson is being held up by Sen. Max Baucus (D-Mont.) in an attempt to draw from HHS more detail about Medicare's new drug discount card, baseline budgets for federal healthcare programs, proposed cuts to the federal Medicaid budget and Medicaid enrollment data. According to a staff member for Baucus, the ranking Democrat on the Senate Finance Committee, the information had not been provided despite several requests. HHS spokesman Bill Pierce said the agency was reviewing Baucus' action. "You'll have to ask (Baucus) why he's made a decision to hold up a confirmation (for an office) that's been vacant since 2003," Pierce said. HHS has not had a permanent inspector general since the June 2003 resignation of Janet Rehnquist. -- by Mark Taylor
Political manuevers delay Levinson confirmation
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