By Rachana Pradhan and Alexandra Glorioso
The senior Trump administration official overseeing Medicaid is leaving the federal government to become the incoming Florida governor's health secretary after less than three months on the job.
Mary Mayhew, who previously ran Maine Gov. Paul LePage's health department and oversaw major cuts to the state's safety net, will lead the Florida Agency for Health Care Administration under Gov.-elect Ron DeSantis, an ally of President Donald Trump and critic of the Affordable Care Act.
DeSantis campaigned on opposing Medicaid expansion while promising to strengthen the state's safety net to protect the most vulnerable. His decision to hire Mayhew signals he could pursue tighter eligibility standards for Medicaid and other social benefits.
"With decades of experience and service throughout various leadership roles in both the private and public sectors, Mary Mayhew is a proven innovator and an effective leader in the field of health care," DeSantis said in a statement to POLITICO. "Mary will be an outstanding secretary who will bring bold and tested leadership to the agency."
During six years as Maine health commissioner, Mayhew helped lead the crusade against Medicaid expansion. She also led efforts to add work requirements to the food stamp program and tighten the state's eligibility standards.
In her failed bid for the Republican nomination in Maine's gubernatorial race last year, she touted a 70 percent decrease in enrollment in the state's food stamp program and a 24 percent decrease in Medicaid enrollment.
Mayhew joined the Trump administration in mid-October. CMS Administrator Seema Verma announced Mayhew's resignation in an email Friday afternoon.
"I've enjoyed working with Administrator Verma and the entire team at CMS," Mayhew said In a statement posted by CMS. "It is this vision for state flexibility that excites me about returning to the state level to help Governor-elect DeSantis partner with Administrator Verma to serve the citizens of Florida."