Indian American Seema Verma sworn in as 15th CMS administrator

Mike Pence, who administered oath of office says she “will rise to the challenge to help make American healthcare great again.”

Vice President Mike Pence administering the oath of office to Seema Verma as the CMS administrator on March 14, 2017. Image via YouTube screen capture

Seema Verma was sworn in as the 15th Administrator of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services on Tuesday.

The Indian American healthcare consultant, who was confirmed for the position by the US Senate on Monday, was administered the oath of office by Vice President Mike Pence.

Verma’s husband Sanjay, children Maya and Sean, mother Dinesh and sister Diya were present at the swearing-in ceremony. After their flight was canceled on Monday night because of snow storm, they drove to Washington, DC, from Indiana.

Dwelling at length about the administration’s determination to repeal and replace the Obamacare, Pence said Verma is taking over as the administrator  at a “a critical moment in the life of our nation.”

“At each step of this process one of President Trump’s most important objectives though has been to give the freedom and flexibility to states across the country to design healthcare programs especially Medicaid to the unique needs of their most vulnerable citizens and that’s where Seema Verma comes in,” the vice president said. “President Trump has chosen, frankly, one of the leading experts in America on state-based healthcare solutions to lead this important agency,” Pence.

RELATED: Indian American Seema Verma confirmed as President Trump’s CMS administrator  (March 14, 2017)

Pence highlighted Verma’s “extraordinary record,”  which, according to him, “stretches back for over years after graduating from John Hopkins University with a master’s degree in public health.” He pointed out that the administrator helped design “the much-heralded healthy Indiana Plan 2.0.” which today “is leading the nation with its emphasis on personal responsibility and effective care for people who need it most.”

Pence said, “I can say with full confidence, along with the president, that we know you will rise to the challenge to help make American healthcare great again.”

RELATED: Indian American Seema Verma gets one step closer to confirmation (March 10, 2017)

In her brief remarks, shortly after being sworn-in, Verma echoed Pence’s words on healthcare. “Our healthcare stands at a crossroads, and we have no choice but to fix our healthcare system,” she said. “Under president Trump’s leadership and vision, we finally have an incredible opportunity to move our healthcare system into one that puts Americans in charge of their healthcare and will ensure that all Americans have access to quality healthcare that they can afford.”

She said she was “humbled and honored” to “have the opportunity to serve as a CMS administrator,” and thanked “President Trump not only for asking me to be the administrator but for putting together an incredibly talented group of individuals that he’s brought from the private sector into government service.”

RELATED: Trump appoints Dr. Seema Verma as Administrator, Centers of Medicare and Medicaid Services (November 29, 2016)

Verma also thanked her “good friend Vice President Pence for believing me believing in me and for all of your support these past years your leadership in Indiana is paving the way for all states and the future of healthcare in America.”

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