President-elect Donald Trump names Indiana health policy consultant Seema Verma as his nominee for administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.
Trump made the announcement along with the nomination of Rep. Tom Price who he nominated to be Secretary of Health and Human Services. Verma’s department is part of the HHS, making Price effectively her boss should the duo be confirmed.
“I am pleased to nominate Seema Verma to serve as Administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services,” said Trump in a statement. “She has decades of experience advising on Medicare and Medicaid policy and helping states navigate our complicated systems. Together, Chairman Price and Seema Verma are the dream team that will transform our healthcare system for the benefit of all Americans.”
Ms. Verma said, “I am honored to be nominated by President-elect Trump today. I look forward to helping him tackle our nation’s daunting healthcare problems in a responsible and sustainable way.”
The Indiana resident is founder and CEO of SVC, Inc., a health policy consulting firm. She is best known for her work on Medicaid issues and her close ties to Vice President-elect Mike Pence. She designed his Obamacare Medicaid expansion model, Healthy Indiana Plan 2.0, and has advised several Republican states on how to add conservative elements such as health savings accounts and employment requirements to their programs.
The consulting executive has also worked on Kentucky’s Medicaid expansion proposal, where controversial Governor Matt Bevin has threatened to pull the plug unless the Obama administration approves his pending request, which includes a work requirement as a condition of receiving benefits and lockout periods for failure to pay, effectively excluding many of the very people who Medicare and Medicaid were meant to serve. The plan also represents Verma’s attempt to repackage her Indiana system under a new name.