What does "CMS" stand for?

  • by: |
  • 05/20/2006

Two years ago CMS stood for “Can McClellan Succeed?”

One year ago it meant “Can McClellan Survive?”

Today it means the future of American health care.

I attended a small lunch yesterday with Dr. McClellan and he made it very clear that now is not the time to take a victory lap. There’s much more yet to be done.

Typical McClellan. That’s why he is the Hardest Working Man in Health Care.

But he did share a few key facts and memorable anecdotes.

Key Fact #1:

The average premium cost is lower than the initial Federal estimate by 30%.

Can you say ” C - O - M - P - E - T - I - T - I - O - N “ ?

Mark also told of the time and shoe leather he and other members of the CMS team spent on the health care hustings. Two stories bear repeating.

The first, according to Dr. McC, happened on a number of occasions. He tells of seniors coming up to him in tears —because they can finally afford the medicines they need.

And Mark, as those of you who know him will attest, is not prone to hyperbole.

The second tells of a woman at a senior center who, after hearing him speak, said that even though she wasn’t currently taking any prescription drugs she was going to sign up because …

“You never know what’s going to happen when you get older.”

To which Mark asked, “How old are you now?”

Her reply, “102.”

With age comes wisdom.


Center for Medicine in the Public Interest is a nonprofit, non-partisan organization promoting innovative solutions that advance medical progress, reduce health disparities, extend life and make health care more affordable, preventive and patient-centered. CMPI also provides the public, policymakers and the media a reliable source of independent scientific analysis on issues ranging from personalized medicine, food and drug safety, health care reform and comparative effectiveness.

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