Probably he just had enough of government and the limitations of a $143,500 salary, so Mark McClellan, announced his will leave his post as administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. An economist and a physician, and someone who understands the value of evidence in making policy decisions, McClellan may well be missed, given the administration’s penchant for putting loyalty above competence.
If truly valuing evidence over politics, McClellan might not have been so enthusiastic about the Medicare drug benefit that could have worked so much better if the drug industry hadn’t written the law creating it. And he might have approved the Plan B oral contraceptive years earlier. But, hey, what can you expect when his predecessor at the agency represented the administration in talks with Congress about the shape of the drug benefit bill while he was negotiating to go directly onto the payroll of a drug industry lobbyist?
In a related safety net development, for the first time since 1999, the number of uninsured children in America has gone up, likely as a result of states cutting back on benefits in order to make sure no tax cuts are left behind.