Senate Confirms Seema Verma as CMS Administrator
On Monday evening, the Senate confirmed Seema Verma as the next Administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). Ms. Verma – best known for her work on Medicaid issues and her close ties to Vice President Mike Pence – designed Indiana’s Medicaid expansion model known as Healthy Indiana Plan 2.0. As leader of CMS, Ms. Verma will work closely with HHS Secretary Tom Price to oversee and implement any major health care measures that Congress passes.
Over the last several years, Verma has advised several Republican states on how to add conservative elements to their programs, such as health savings accounts and employment requirements. In 2014, Verma worked with Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin to create a Medicaid plan that includes a work requirement as a condition of receiving benefits and lockout periods for failure to pay. The Kentucky proposal is heavily modeled off Indiana’s Medicaid expansion plan.
Shortly after her swearing in ceremony on Tuesday, Verma and HHS Secretary Tom Price sent a cosigned letter to state Governors indicating that they will seek to facilitate expedited approval of Section 1115 demonstration waiver applications to reshape Medicaid.
The National Council looks forward to working with Administrator Verma to improve the lives of individuals and families living with serious mental illness and addiction issues across the United States.