Seema Verma, longtime ally of Vice President Mike Pence, has been tapped by the administration to lead the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), the agency that oversees administration of these healthcare services. However, low-income Americans can likely expect to soon pay for these services, because Verma just knows you can.
From the Huffington Post:
In an article published in the journal Health Affairs in 2008, Verma and Mitchell Roob, then head of Indiana’s Medicaid program, framed the philosophy behind the Healthy Indiana Plan in moral and religious terms. “This structure melds two themes of American society that typically collide in our healthcare system, rugged individualism and the Judeo Christian ethic,” Verma and Roob wrote.
Poor people, Verma testified before a House subcommittee in 2013, are well-suited for programs like the Healthy Indiana Plan, also called HIP, that force them to scrape together the money they need to keep their health coverage.
“They are perhaps the best consumers of a dollar. They’ve had experience stretching a dollar,” Verma said.
During Verma’s confirmation hearing offered scant specifics about her plans for Medicare and Medicaid. She did say she doesn’t support a private voucher system, but refused to take positions on issues like raising the minimum age for Medicare, capping state money for Medicaid, or allowing plans to cover fewer conditions.
Also raised during her confirmation hearing were ethics questions about her time working both as a public servant in Mike Pence’s administration as governor Indiana and as the head of a private consulting firm. The firm, SVC, Inc., made millions of dollars from other state governments while Verma was a public servant.
Verma has said, via her spokesman, that there was never a conflict of interest.
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