Senate Committee Signals Approval Of Seema Verma To Run CMS, But Most Dems Will Vote 'No'
At a Senate Finance Committee markup on the confirmation of Seema Verma to become CMS administrator, a majority of senators signaled approval of Verma, but most Democrats said they will vote "no" in response to their dissatisfaction with her written answers on issues, including past conflicts-of-interest, ACA repeal and Medicaid changes. A binding committee vote is expected March 2.
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Seema Verma, President Trump's nominee to lead the Medicare agency, was approved by the Senate Finance Committee March 2 on a narrow 13-12 vote; her confirmation will now be taken up by the full Senate. Questions remain about Verma's viewpoints related to replacement of the Affordable Care Act and on promoting alternative Medicare value-based payment models.
Seema Verma, President Trump’s pick to run the US Medicare agency, told the Senate Finance Committee that rural areas should not have to comply with CMS’ medical supplies competitive-bidding program if it is not a good fit. Verma was also questioned on changes she might make to the Affordable Care Act and the Medicare program, but did not offer many specifics.
Industry cheered one of President Trump's first executive orders filed Jan. 20, calling on HHS and others in the executive branch to "waive, defer, grant exemptions" from Affordable Care Act provisions for industry imposing burdens on them, including the costs of taxes and fees on "makers of medical devices."