Senator Kamala Harris votes against Verma.
The US Senate on Monday confirmed Indian American Seema Verma as the administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.
According to Senate’s official website, Verma, a healthcare consultant, was approved by a 55-43 vote, putting her at the heart of President Trump’s efforts to “repeal and replace” Obamacare.
Verma is the second Indian American in the Trump administration, after US ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley, to be confirmed by the Senate. She will head the agency that provides health insurance programs for more than 130 million people.
As the CEO of health policy consulting company SVC Inc., Verma is the architect of Healthy Indiana Plan (HIP), which has been billed as the country’s first consumer-director Medicaid program. The health insurance program, designed for people with low income, requires participants to pay into a health savings account and has high deductibles.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnel said Verma understands the challenges Obamacare has created for families.
“She is committed to protecting Medicare and modernizing Medicaid so the programs deliver the best results for those who need it. She also understands the challenges that Obamacare has created for families,” McConnel said.
“Now is the time for creative thinking to increase access and lower costs. Now is the time for a CMS Administrator with the right experience as we repeal and replace Obamacare. I know this nominee will strengthen the vital programs she has been tasked to lead, because she has a history of doing just that,” he added.
Among those who voted against Verma is Democratic Senator Kamala Harris.
“I voted NO on Seema Verma to head Medicare & Medicaid. I disagree with her ideas to cap & cut Medicaid and her views on maternity coverage,” Harris tweeted.
Social Media Update:
I voted NO on Seema Verma to head Medicare & Medicaid. I disagree with her ideas to cap & cut Medicaid and her views on maternity coverage.
— Kamala Harris (@SenKamalaHarris) March 13, 2017