Senate confirms Seema Verma to head Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services

The consultant, a close ally of Vice President Mike Pence from their days in Indiana, replaces former CMS chief Andy Slavitt, who has been an outspoken opponent of Republican proposals to replace the Affordable Care Act.
By Henry Powderly
12:13 PM
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CMS Administrator Seema Verma

Seema Verma, the healthcare consultant most known for her work on the Healthy Indiana state Medicaid reform plan, was confirmed as Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services administrator by the U.S. Senate on March 13.

While much of the healthcare world was focused on the Congressional Budget Office's damning projections for the Republican healthcare reform bill on Monday, Verma was confirmed by a 55 to 43 vote.

Verma, who largely skirted questions during her confirmation hearing about her opinions on Medicaid and Medicare reform, as well as value-based reimbursement models and programs such as meaningful use, had worked on the Healthy Indiana project while Vice President Mike Pence was governor of that state.

Sen. Majority Leader Mitch McConnell celebrated the news on Monday and said Verma will help Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price in the Republican Party's fight to repeal the Affordable Care Act.

That could be quite the challenge after the CBO on Monday said it projects the Republicans' healthcare bill, the American Health Care Act, would result in 24 million Americans losing their insurance coverage in a decade.

Verma replaces acting Admin Andy Slavitt, who has become a vocal opponent of Republican healthcare proposals since he left CMS in January.

This story first appeared on Healthcare Finance.

Twitter: @HenryPowderly
Contact the author: henry.powderly@himssmedia.com