HCFA ADMINISTRATOR CANDIDATE DRAW ALTMAN WITHDRAWS
HCFA ADMINISTRATOR CANDIDATE DRAW ALTMAN WITHDRAWS from consideration for the top Health Care Financing Administration post July 7 to accept a position as director of health and human services for the Pew Charitable Trusts in Philadelphia. The New Jersey commissioner of health and human services cited salary and the slow HHS nominating process as factors in his decision to withdraw, but said the Pew offer was "too good for me to turn down." Altman cleared the FBI field interviews in mid-June and had been making weekly trips to Washington to work with HCFA. * This is the second HCFA administrator candidate to withdraw from consideration during the Bush Administration. Sheila Burke, legislative director for Sen. Robert Dole (R-Kan.) declined the post in late April citing the potential for conflict of interest between Medicare and the Aetna insurance company, where her husband David Chew is vice president for strategic planning. Commenting on Altman's decision, HHS Secretary Louis Sullivan said: "While I regret that I will not have the benefit of [Altman's] judgment and experience at HCFA, I congratulate him on his new position and wish him well. We will move as quickly as possible in the selection of a new candidate to present to the President for the important HCFA administrator position." Altman reportedly has said the Pew position will allow him to pursue his interests in both social services and health. He will be administering both types of programs with a $ 60 mil. budget for national and international initiatives. Altman's ties to Pew go back to 1982, when he was at the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the two philanthropies created a $ 25 mil. program to establish a housing program for homeless in 19 cities.
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