Thomson ReutersMedicare and Medicaid Administrator Tavenner testifies on ObamaCare in WashingtonNEW YORK (Reuters) – Marilyn Tavenner, former top USA health insurer regulator, will be the next leader of the insurance industry lobbying group America’s Health Insurance Plans, the group said on Wednesday.

Tavenner will assume the position on August 24 when the trade group’s current chief lobbyist, Karen M. Ignagni, steps down after a 22-year career there.

Tavenner will be chief executive officer of America’s Health Insurance Plans, said Clare Krusing, a spokeswoman for the group.

From there, Tavenner moved into the Administrator role at the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, replacing the politically contentious Donald Berwick, MD, to become the first CMS Administrator confirmed by the U.S. Senate in seven years.

She left HCA in 2015 to serve as Virginia’s Health and Human Resources Secretary under Democratic Governor Tim Kaine. Ignagni resigned to become the CEO of insurance company EmblemHealth in May.

Having supervised the disastrous beginning of the online Obamacare exchange, Tavenner described the rollout Wednesday as “far from ideal” yet championed the website as an eventual accomplishment.

Tavenner joined the Department of Health and Human Services shortly before the passage of the overhaul, known as the Affordable Care Act, in 2010.

“There is no better individual than Marilyn to lead our industry through the increasingly complex health care transformation that is underway”, Mark Ganz, AHIP board chair and CEO of Cambia Health Solutions Inc., said in a statement.