Verma one step closer to CMS

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Thursday, March 2, 2017

WASHINGTON – Seema Verma is headed to the full Senate for confirmation as CMS Administrator.

The Senate Finance Committee on Thursday voted 13-12 to advance Verma’s nomination.

“We need experienced and responsible leadership at the helm of our federal agencies and CMS is no exception,” said Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, chairman of the committee. “The challenges plaguing both Medicare and Medicaid require a strong partnership between the administration and Congress to improve these programs and help enact the necessary reforms to ensure their solvency for future generations. Ms. Verma will help facilitate that partnership and as we work to repeal and replace Obamacare, she will play a vital role in realigning the focus on patient-centered solutions. I look forward to her nomination being considered by the full Senate.”

It was the committee’s second vote on Verma. On Wednesday, it was deadlocked in a tie, 9-9.

Verma is founder and CEO of SVC, a health policy consulting firm. She has worked with a number of states, most notably Indiana, to redesign their Medicaid programs in the wake of the Affordable Care Act.

During a hearing before the Senate Finance Committee on Feb. 16, Verma said that one-size-fits-all approaches to healthcare, like CMS’s competitive bidding program, don’t always work. She made the comment in response to a question from Sen. Mike Enzi, R-Wyo., about whether or not she would be willing to continue to have a dialogue about how the bid program can ensure Medicare beneficiaries, especially those in rural states, get the medical equipment they need.